(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 7TH – 13TH May 2018)
ICE BREAKER: What comes to mind when you hear the word protection?
FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ John 17:6-19
- Jesus’ whole prayer is from verses 1-26. In verses 6-19 Jesus is concerned about the disciples. The disciples were chosen from the world (v6), are in the world (v11), are hated by the world (v14), and are not of the world (v14, 16). Jesus prays that they would be protected from the “evil one” who is at work in the world, but he doesn’t ask that they be taken out of the world (v15). Shew, this is complicated! Discuss what you feel this meant for the disciples when they heard these words prayed over them and what it means for you today.
- In what ways do you think the Father protects us today as we are in the world but not of the world, so that we fulfil and continue Jesus mission in the world?
- Jesus prayed for and still prays for his followers. He’s praying for unity and protection, especially from the impact of the evil one and all that separates us from each other. How have you experienced Jesus protection encircling you and giving you courage to face life’s challenges with grace and trust?
- There is a thought that Jesus’ prayer for us is an act of ‘encircling’ us, much like the Celtic practice of “Caim” – before a journey or facing threat, a person draws a circle around them self as a sign that God surrounds them completely. In view of this how does St Patrick’s prayer speak to you of God’s protection:
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
- Do you think we are always encircled by God’s love and protection? Why or why not?
- Unity is quite a buzz word in many circles nowadays. What do you think Jesus means when he refers to unity and protection in verses 11-12 (also look at verses 21-23)?
- What else strikes you as significant in this passage? Discuss with your group.
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.