WEEK OF DECEMBER 17, 2017

Day 1 - Isaiah 6: 1 - 11

Isaiah was a messenger to Judah, the Southern Kingdom of Israel. During the reign of King Uzziah, (chart) Judah had begun to turn away from God because of the great influence of idolatry King Uzziah had introduced into the kingdom. Isaiah speaks messages calling the Israelites to repentence, warning them of God’s justice as a result of their sin and speaking of the promises of God’s grace in repentance. 

Today’s reading focuses on God’s grace as He promises good news for the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, the prisoners, the mourners, those dealt injustice, and those brought to ruin. Jesus Himself confirms God’s speaking through his prophet Isaiah around 700 years later when Jesus speaks in the synagogue in Nazareth. Jesus declares “today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. (Luke 4: 16-21)”


Read Isaiah 6: 1-4, 8-11

Head
Look at this picture of a seraphim. How do you think Isaiah would have felt once he caught sight of such a creature? 

Why did the angel place the burning coal on Isaiah’s mouth? How does this relate to when we confess our sins to God? 

Heart
When you picture heaven, or the throne room of God, that is described in Isaiah what images come to mind?

Isaiah was called to confront his community (v. 9-11) with their sins, how might Isaiah have done this in a loving yet effective way? How about us? How hard is this to do? 

Hands
Draw a picture of your favorite part of the image Isaiah describes. Talk about why you chose this image.

OR

Listen/ Sing along to  “Revelation Song,” how is heaven pictured in this song? How does it compare to the images we read in Isaiah? How does this give us hope when called to confront those around us? 


Day 2 - 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-24

In today’s lesson, we read St. Paul’s words to his Christian converts in Thessalonica in which he makes a listing of actions for the children of God, including: 

—always rejoicing and giving thanks, no matter the circumstances
—praying continually
—not trying to control the manifestations of the Spirit
—not despising prophecies but rather testing them
—focusing on what is good
—abstaining from every kind of evil

Paul closes with the promise that God would be their keeper and giver of peace. He promises also to purify us in the coming of Jesus. 

Read 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-24

Head
What does Paul mean when he asks us to “test everything?” (v.21) Read Acts 17:11, how is this a way we can “test everything?” 

What is the promise God makes in the last verse? How can we take comfort in this? (v.24)

Heart
Talk about the list of actions…. do you understand what each of them means? 

Out of all of these actions listed, which one do you find comes most naturally to you? Which one is the hardest?

Hands
What is a way you can help remind yourself to give thanks? 

Discuss as a group something you are all thankful for and why. How cool is it that God provides these things in our lives that we can be thankful for?!