Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Readings for Sunday, September 25, 2011

Grace and Peace through Jesus Christ,

We continue with our readings in Exodus, Philippians, and Matthew.

Exodus 17:1-7 – Where have the people of Israel traveled to? What is their complaint to Moses? Who does Moses turn to? What is the solution or resolution to the complaint? What does “Massah” and “Meribah” mean in verse 7 (you may have to check your footnotes or commentary at the bottom of the page)?

Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 – If your Bible has a title to this psalm, what is it? Who is speaking in the first 4 verses? What is the purpose of this long psalm? What 4 things does God do for the people of Israel in verses 12-16?

Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32 – What does God complain about to Ezekiel in verses 1-2? How does God see the current situation? In other words, who sinned and brought the current calamity? What does the community complain about God in verses 25 and 29? What will happen to the righteous when they turn away? Who brings about their death? (If you answered “God” then look again.) What does God want in verse 32?

Psalm 25:1-9 – What two things does the psalmist want from God? What are some of the traits that the psalmist ascribes to God?

Philippians 2:1-13 – How can the people of Philippi complete Paul’s joy? What 5 things does Paul ascribe to Jesus in verse 1? How should we live as described in verses 2, 3, and 4? What do you think verse 5 means? Verses 6-11 are believed to be an ancient Christian hymn that Paul used in this letter. It is often described with a Greek word kenosis which means “emptying” which is found in verse 7. Notice the top-down-bottom-up-top pattern to the hymn: God-emptied-human/death-exalting-Lord. Does this pattern describe the Gospel of Matthew or Luke? Who works in us in verse 13? What does that allow us to do?

Matthew 21:23-32 – Jesus has entered Jerusalem, cleansed the Temple, and cursed the fig tree. It is now the Monday before his arrest and crucifixion. Where did Jesus go? What did the chief priests and elders want to know? What is Jesus’ challenge to them? Why does Jesus ask about John the Baptist? What is their response? Have your children ever acted like the two sons in the parable? Who will get to the kingdom ahead of the priests and elders? Why? What is Jesus saying to you through this parable?

May the Lord strengthen you for work in His Kingdom through these texts this week.

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