Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.
Our theme this week is on issues of justice. Lord, there are so many issues and experiences of injustice, oppression and inequality. Help us as a congregation to look beyond ourselves to these issues; to respond in ways that bring freedom from bondage and oppression; may the floodgates of your mercy be like a healing balm to those who need it most. Let us pray for:
• Those who feel trapped in poverty, which often leads to choices that would not be the norm just to put food on the table and provide a roof over their heads.
• Our education system – decision makers at national and local government levels, educators and learners.
• Our police and security company personnel – that they would all work to ensure safety and security for all who call SA home.
• Communities to work together to root out crime, violence and corruption.
• The correct management of parastatals, especially the current crisis within Eskom, and the threat of strikes that could affect the whole country.
• The eradication of misconduct at SABC.
• The reduction in statistics of 31% of municipalities who are not financially viable.
• Those affected by sexual harassment in school by teachers.
• Give thanks for the repaired equipment at the Addington Oncology unit.
• Pray for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe on 30th July.
• Continue to pray for our leaders.
We pray for righteousness to be restored in our beloved country, work for all and hope for future generations.
“When the enemy comes with shame and blame, tell him to go measure the distance from East to West and get back to you – Louie Giglio”
(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 11 – 17TH June 2018)
ICE BREAKER: Share a personal experience of a waterfall.
FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ Luke 4:14-20; Amos 5:21-24 and Isaiah 1:16-17
1. Luke records in verses 18-19, the words spoken by Jesus as recorded in Isaiah 61. Most of us have heard these words proclaimed many times. What do they mean for you? Share with your group.
2. Justice is a word that is bandied about quite a lot as we see many atrocities and acts of injustice and inequality. What are your thoughts on matters of injustice and inequality?
3. Closer to home… there are many hot potato issues in SA – political strife, land issues, failing education and health systems, economic uncertainty to name a few. So often when faced with these issues our response is to flee into self-preservation mode. Why do you think this is so?
4. Let’s look a little deeper on this issue… we cannot ignore the deeper issues and causes of injustice, oppression and inequality, that are often designed to keep the poverty stricken in that place, or those trapped in life styles not necessarily of their choosing. How can the church – HMC and the broader church – offer a faithful, Gospel inspired, critique of systemic injustice that causes inequality?
5. Amos 5:24 is a beautiful passage – the NIV reads, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-ending stream.” One of my favourite spots in the Berg is a waterfall at the foot of the Bushman’s Nek mountains. When the rains have come, and the river is flowing strong, it’s a steady and endless flow of water over the rockface into a deep pool; onto some rapids and into the deeper quieter section, which just keeps rolling as the river meanders onwards. Imagine this and hold the picture in mind as you consider that Jesus came to right injustice… Where in your life or circle of influence could this verse in Amos be an outworking of your faith that brings justice and righteous living?
6. In his book, My Beloved Community, Andrew writes: “It’s a damnably hard thing to get people to look beyond themselves. It’s a true mark of maturity to do so. Your maturity in Christ is a movement from self-concern to an abiding concern for others.” In your praying, studying and worship do you sense the Holy Spirit at work within, maturing you to see beyond yourself to others?
7. What fruit could be borne and continue to be produced and harvested as a community that strives for justice and righteousness?
(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 4th – 10h June 2018)
ICE BREAKER: What robs you of peace?
FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ 1 Kings 3:16-28, Matthew 10:5-16
1. READ: 1 Kings 3:16-28. Traditionally one would think this passage is about learning to exercise great wisdom. How does exercising wisdom bring about peace?
2. In what ways have/haven’t you been able to resolve conflict or disputes in your homes, places of work or even in the church? How have you made peace with the
outcome of this situation?
3. What’s the answer – violence or threat of violence? Does exercising violence bring about true peace?
4. READ: Matthew 10:5-16
The Jews were waiting for the Messiah to usher in the Kingdom of God. Jesus sends the disciples on a mission, with specific instructions. One of these is to give as
freely as you have received. How does generosity bring about peace?
5. We’re all eagerly awaiting this Kingdom – in Christ it has been realised, because Christ has already begun the Kingdom on earth in our hearts. What can we do to
play our part to realise this more fully, so that evil is resisted, and all people are able to live in peace with one another?
6. Shake the dust off your sandals seems like a strange instruction in a dusty land. What is the spiritual truth that Jesus is trying to convey here? Are you receptive to
new and different teachings?
7. When you’re facing hostility, how do you respond? Who do you run to for protection? How do you continue to do God’s work in the face of hostility?
Prayers for SA: 28 May – 3 June 2018
Prayer for SA our World 28 May – 3 June 2018
7 Questions for 28 May – 3 June 2018
7 Questions 3 June 2018
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