Each of us is on a journey from brokenness to healing and wholeness that echoes the Exodus sojourn. What does Israel’s story of traveling from oppression to liberation have in common with our own? What should we expect to encounter as we seek God’s path of liberation?
- Please read the Scriptures for this week.
- John Wesley’s Writings: Sermon on “The New Creation”
Small Group Session Agenda
Liberating God: You have called us into existence and community for such a time as this. We pause before You to acknowledge Your presence and power available to each of us this day. (Pause, Selah). Receive all that we lay at Your feet and transform it for Your glory. You have given us Your liberating power. We receive it. May we use it to transform our lives, community and world. Lead us in this time of study, introspection and renewal. Heal. Save. Deliver. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.
In the gift of this moment, we affirm that we are divinely loved and lovable.
We are the children of God.
Together, we will learn from the actions and words of one another.
Christ’s lessons on love are centered in how we treat others and in how we treat ourselves.
We will exercise courage in this study as we share stories of struggle and strength.
We will stay at the table and receive those stories with grace.
We will not be afraid to launch into the deep.
We will commit to the vulnerability necessary to allow God to break us open.
We will set and respect boundaries and honor confidentiality together.
When uncertainty arises, we will remember the Spirit of “peace that passes our own understanding” and can intercede for us.
We will remember that even when we don’t feel “United,”
The uniting love of Christ can reveal a pathway to greater
wisdom and mutual respect.
No matter what, there is a place for each one of us in this study together.
Let us hold each other up in prayer, hold each other accountable in love, and
trust that our God is making all things new.
Thank you for the gift of being present to one another in this holy time.
Exodus 12:37-42; Numbers 33:1-56; Ephesians 2:11-20
With Rev. Dr. Zina Jacque
Rev. Dr. Zina Jacque is pastor of Community Church of Barrington in Barrington, Ill.
Head & Heart Discussion
- In the video, Rev. Dr. Jacque lifted up the story of the Israelites under Pharaoh. What is an appropriate response when God is seeking liberation but we benefit from the oppression?
- On the journey of liberation, what difficulties must we confront to fully live into the sweetness of God in our midst?
- How have you experienced Christ’s presence with you on the journey toward liberation?
Part 1 Wrap Up
What do you understand differently about who we are as the people of God?
BEYOND THE SESSION
Prayer and Pathway to Journaling
Often, when we become reflexively resistant to what we’ve experienced through study, it is pointing towards an area worthy of more reflection and prayer. In this part of study, we invite you to examine your areas of resistance or struggle. Allow God to reveal how transformation can occur in those areas.
Use these open-ended questions to facilitate your introspection:
- How does the discussion from this session apply to your life, your church, our denomination?
- Where is the Spirit revealing to you areas appropriate for growth and transformation?
- How does what we talked about transform your relationship with God and others?
- Write a prayer to ask for God’s support and enlightenment to apply what you learned, and then pray it.
- Where have you wrestled? Where have you grown? What do you understand differently about Who We Are As the People of God?
- Movie: A Force More Powerful (1999). A documentary about liberation movements across the world.
- “Seeing God in Each Other, ed. By Sheryl Kujawa Holbrook
- “America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America,” by Jim Wallis