Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.
1 I waited patiently for the LORD to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
3 He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:1-3 (NLT)
Many unsettling occurrences in world affairs dismay us. Please help to keep us grounded Lord as we pray about these issues and trust Your hand on them.
Please pray for:
• In the issues on land reform may the decisions made by those in authority be responsible and fair. May those who are impatient for change to take place learn patience as the enormity of the problem is unravelled and dealt with. Thank you Father that I have You with us in the midst of changes and transitions.
• The police and traffic officers as they handle the protests in Cato Ridge. Please keep the public and the officers safe. May the issues be speedily resolved so that there is a win–win scenario. Lord thank you for Your grace and the ability to keep our bearings on you when the going gets tough.
• Please be with the Uber drivers who are being attacked by those who believe they are being side-lined in the race for transporting commuters. Please help us to change our world through Love.
• Children are important to You Lord – racism seems to still be an issue in schools – so we ask Father that Your designs for everyone will come to fruition and that our diversity will be embraced and fear put on the back burner.
• Globally less than 20% of teens get enough exercise – Father please encourage parents to invest wisely in the lives of their off spring so that parents/ caregivers responsibly ensure that all their needs are met. May they be role models for their children in every area of their lives.
• We pray now for the endeavours of the Durban Mayor as she tackles customer service. Thank you Lord, for responsible leaders working tirelessly to improve our country. Bless those who are not corrupt or lazy or ineffectual.
• Please pray for those in Somali hit by a tropical cyclone. Please be with those who are homeless or in a precarious situation of health. Lord grace us with a vision of the world that You and we can create together. Help us to appreciate all resources and to cut away anything that isn’t part of Your hopes and aspirations for us.
(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 21st – 27th May 2018)
ICE BREAKER: What’s your favorite season of the year? Why do you prefer it over the other seasons; how do you embrace the other seasons over your most favorite one?
FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ John 3:1-17
1. In nature the season is changing from Autumn to Winter, the days are shorter, nights are longer, there’s a chill in the air and the gardens are looking less leafy green. Within the church calendar, following Pentecost last Sunday, we have moved into a new season. Nicodemus finds himself challenged by change in this passage – a new concept is presented to him. He grapples with what this means because it challenges his understanding of God, community, faith and salvation. Reflect on your own response to something new that is presented to you. How do you respond? Share with your group.
2. At HMC we are in a season of change. We are all different people, with different roles in this time of change; all with different responses to change as you will have discovered in question 1.
Within the process of change (either chosen or imposed upon us) we will go through different moments like grief, fear, disbelief, clinging and cleaving, denial or excited by new opportunities and so on – it’s all okay.
The remainder of the questions will focus on verses about change, as a way to help us navigate this season together as God’s beloved community.
READ: Hebrews 13:8 and James 1:17. What do these verses say about God’s character that we receive as a promise in the midst of change?
3. READ: 2 Cor. 4:16-18 and Romans 12:2. Paul is referring to 2 types of change: Spiritual and bodily change. In our humanness our bodies wear away, but what of our spirituality? Do you think it’s possible to grow spiritually when faced with change? How so…?
4. READ: Isaiah 43:19 and Jeremiah 29:11-13. What new thing/s could come out of your personal changing circumstances and/or out of the current changes in leadership at HMC?
5. READ: Philippians 4:6-8 – a beautiful picture of community. Prayer is vital at all times, but there’s so much more to these verses. How do they bring hope and comfort to you and what example of being community do they present to us?
6. READ: Psalm 103:1-5. What comfort can you take from these verses?
7. READ: Philemon 1-22. What do you find inspiring about these verses in the light of our being community together and supporting one another through change?
Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.
“whoever watches the wind will not plant, whoever looks at the clouds will not reap” – Ecclesiastes 11:4
Please pray for:
- The people of South Africa to be positive about South Africa, to push forward in spite of the negatives they see around them, to invest themselves in the Country and trust God
- The people of South Africa to notice the good that is being done for others and for our Country
- Our diverse population to work together in a healthy and productive way
- Our children to grow up without the injustices from the past being perpetuated
- Equal opportunities for all
- Continued prayer for Cyril Ramaphosa – To seek God’s guidance daily as he steers our country and makes decisions; and roots out corruption.
- Continue to pray for rain in the Cape – for the drought to be completely broken
- Pray for our Circuit Pentecost Service on 20th – may many lives be touched through our witness.
- Pray for our Methodist Churches during Mission Month – may lives be changed and new life be sparked in those who serve and who are served by our churches.
- Pray for our Bishop and the District Executive as they prepare for Synod later in the month – my God’s Spirit guide the preparations and the hearts and minds of those attending that we may discern the mind of Christ in matters that affect our life together as church.
- Pray for the peace of Christ to guard our hearts and minds as people, community and nation.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”
(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 14th – 20th May 2018)
ICE BREAKER: Share an overwhelming experience – what impact did it make on you or those with you?
FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Acts 2:1-21
- Think of a time when you were buffeted by the wind. Think of the power behind that wind – one can only marvel at this power. Think about the initial appearance of the Holy Spirit that manifested its tremendous power in the movement of the wind and tongues of flames. Think of the dry bones that became covered with flesh and that put breath in Ezekiel. In the same vein as the ice-breaker is there anything you’d like to add now that you’ve reflected a little more? Share this with the group.
- Another thing you may have noticed in the Acts reading is that the Holy Spirit touched everyone in that Upper Room – people from all over the known world, from different faith beliefs, cultures and languages. How do you feel about the work of the Holy Spirit today – on the belief that the Holy Spirit is at work amongst all peoples, how can you be part of the transforming work of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis?
- What else do you notice about the work of the Holy Spirit amongst the people on that day of Pentecost, and in the prophecy in Ezekiel?
- There is a strong call to salvation, and reaching out to the marginalised, in both texts. Have you experienced the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you (or perhaps someone else) to share the message of salvation with others, perhaps especially with those whom you would have least expected it? Share this experience with the group.
- So we’ve been looking to the work of the Holy Spirit through you to others… but what about you – how have you experienced the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in worship, in Holy Communion or witnessing a Baptism, or during a prayer or study time or some area of service. What impact did these personal experiences make in your belief in God and in your faith?
- Have you experienced moments of courage, or power to deal with a challenge or grief and to be faithful in following Christ?
- How has the Holy Spirit revealed more of Christ to you – his love for you, and to be more open in your heart and mind to learn more about Christ and being a Christ-follower?
NOTE: Prayers for SA & the World are posted on the website. Please encourage your group to pray together about these issues and during their personal devotional time in the week.
Sermon : Merle Vollebregt
Please click on the link below to listen to the sermon