(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 16TH – 22ND July 2018)
ICE BREAKER: How good are you at navigating; how good are you at allowing someone else to read the map/directions to direct your journey?
FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ John 7:1-2,14; 8:12-14; Exodus 13:17-22
Some Context: It was time for the Feast of Tabernacles also known as the Feast of Booths. A time to remember their journey through the wilderness after leaving Egypt. This feast reminded them that life is a pilgrimage – we’ve never fully arrived. Jesus initially doesn’t intend going, but then changes his mind and goes to teach in the Temple. The Sanhedrin, that didn’t usually meet during the Sabbath and Festival Days, is meeting to discuss Jesus. Nicodemus, who previously met Jesus under the cover of darkness speaks up on behalf of Jesus. It’s during this meeting that Jesus – outside – says, “I AM the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
1. In the desert the Israelites were guided by the pillar of cloud (day) and the pillar of fire (night). They moved when the pillars moved. Thinking about life as a journey/pilgrimage I’m sure you’ll agree that sometimes you find yourself in unwanted places – a ‘stopping place’ instead of a ‘staying place’? Has there been a time in your life when you were grateful that a ‘stopping place’ wasn’t a ‘staying place’?
2. The Israelites journey was following God. When Jesus says, “I am the Light of the world.” What do you think he meant? What does it mean to trust Christ as the source of light in our world? Have you experienced a deepening faith through Christ’s guidance in your life?
3. How has Christ’s direction helped you to take a step of reconciliation in a relationship, or to take a step of honesty and speak truth, or step towards a dream or goal?
4. When Jesus uttered this ‘I AM’ statement the religious leaders were plotting against him. Think about this – how did darkness work there? Nicodemus, who’d had a new revelation in his time with Christ, spoke out – a rather courageous thing to do. In Jesus is truth. When we let him be our light, he exposes what needs to change or be brought to a newer understanding. Have you come to a new understanding on matters, especially in spiritual matters? Share with our group.
5. Rob Fuquay, shares a story about his grandmother’s windows that needed cleaning. The afternoon sun showed up his lack of zeal in cleaning them for her – they were all streaky. He says, “no matter how challenging, Jesus’ light always brings me to a better place.” What within you needs cleaning?
6. Sometimes darkness is not always of our own making, sometimes it is as a result of our own actions. Either way our path loses it’s illumination. What do you think needs to happen to light our path brightly? What does it mean for us to be a light for the world?