Visioning and Prophesying
The biblical prophets called on the people of their time, and on us today, to “remember who you are,” to remember that you are a child of God. Prophets also remind us that God’s heart resides most profoundly with people in the margins of our culture. How are the voices of ancient prophets relevant to the Church today?
- Article: Where have all the prophet’s gone?
- Please read the Scriptures for the week as well.
Small Group Session Agenda
Omniscient (All-Knowing) God: Thank You for intentionally gathering us together by Your Spirit. Thank You for being mindful of all of Your creation. You are the reason that we live, move and have our being; and, we are here because of Your mercy. You know all that concerns us. So, we pause before You now to acknowledge Who You Are. (Pause, Selah). You are the God of justice and righteousness; and, You ever call us through the means of grace to live justly and righteously with one another. Embolden our witness and forgive our complicitness with, and/or silence regarding any form of injustice. With every breath, renew our strength, witness, and spirit to make a positive difference wherever You send us. 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.
Isaiah 1:1-6; 21-26; Isaiah 40:1-11; Acts 2:14-21
With Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle
Rev. Dr. McMickle recently retired as president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY.
Head & Heart Discussion
- What is the role of prophets today?
- Rev. Dr. McMickle teaches that the role of the church is to hold up a mirror to who we are. As we look in the mirror, what are the places of distortion?
- What is the responsibility of the Christian community to the ever-expanding problem of poverty here and around the world?
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?
- Imagine you were on the receiving end of the prophet’s words from the passages highlighted in Isaiah. What one or two things about your life or your church might you consider changing?
- Write a prayer to ask for God’s support and enlightenment to apply what you learned, and then pray it.
- Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, David W. Blight
- The Prophetic Imagination, Second Edition, Walter Brueggemann
- Movie: Selma (2015)
- John Wesley’s Writing: Sermon on the Mount, 12