Reflection & Discussion Questions
Read John 15:1-17
 
  • What stands out from the chapter? Is there anything that’s new to you, or something you don’t understand?
     
  • What is the significance of Jesus being the true Israel and having fulfilled the Old Covenant?
     
  • What comes to mind when you think of ‘remaining’ or ‘abiding’ in Jesus? How might you do this in your day-to-day life?
     
  • How do you understand Jesus making ‘our joy complete’? Is this your experience?
     
  • What does it mean for us ‘to lay down our lives for our friends’? How could you practice love of those around you?
     
Reflection & Discussion Questions

Bible reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 7-17

  • Reflecting on verse 7, life on this earth has been, is, and always will be fragile. In what ways have you been aware of the fragility and vulnerability of life, either before or during the CoVID-19 pandemic?  
  • How have you experienced God’s resurrection power at work in the midst of your fragility or vulnerability?
  • Are you more prone to wallowing in your vulnerability or trying to cover it over, even dismissing or denying it? Why do you think that is?
  • Reflecting on verses 10-12, how can you draw near to or connect with God in a greater way through being vulnerable?
  • Reflecting on verse 15, how can you receive God’s grace and bring glory to God through times of brokenness, weakness, fragility and vulnerability?
  • How might your view of fragility and vulnerability be characterised more by God’s perspective than your own or that or others?
Reflection & Discussion Questions
Read Philippians 3:7-16
 
  • What stands out to you from the passage?

  • What have you learnt through this period of isolation/quarantine about what matters most to you?

  • What things have been difficult? What changes have been positive?

  • Paul wants to speak to some of the issues faced by the Philippian church. He particularly wants to speak to those who think they have faith all figured out, with nothing left to learn. All of us are prone to this way of thinking; share with your group about how you might be most prone to thinking you have things all figured out. How has God disrupted this for you in the past?

  • How do you experience God’s teaching or leading?

  • How can your small group commit to supporting one another’s continued growth? Eg. some groups use apps to read the Bible together, others might use a group chat to share prayer requests, etc.
Reflection & Discussion Questions
Bible reading: Luke 10:38-42
 
  • In verse 39, it speaks of ‘sitting at Jesus’ feet’. This speaks of the state of our heart and mind indicating the presence of Jesus with us, rather than being overwhelmed by the predicament we might face.
    – Can you recall a time when the state of your heart or mind reflected that?
    – Can you recall a time when it didn’t?
     
  • In verse 40, Jesus identifies distractions as something that can complicate or compromise our capacity to experience the presence of God in the midst of life. What kind of distractions do you think can cause that, and why might that be so?
  • In verse 41, Jesus also identifies worry as something that can complicate or compromise our capacity to experience the presence of God in the midst of life. What kind of worries do you think can cause that, and why might that be so?
  • What might you need to do to not lose sight of the presence and perspective of Jesus in the midst of daily life and all it might bring?
  • In verse 42, Jesus speaks of ‘choosing what is better’. Take some time to ‘choose what is better’ through prayer in one or all of the following 3 ways:
     
    • Using the ‘prayer guide’ Jesus gives at the start of the next chapter, Luke chapter 11, more commonly known as the ‘Lord’s Prayer’
    • Using your own thoughts and words in a way that is personal for you
    • Using the ‘prayer resource guide’ for this week sent out as an attachment with Pastor David’s email on Thursday. Prepared by Marilyn, it fits very well with these reflections, and is a great way to ‘wrap up’ your time of reflection and/or discussion.
Reflection & Discussion Questions
This week we’re thinking about the parts of Christian life that seem intangible, in the light of Reconciliation Week and Pentecost.
  • What parts of following Christ seem least tangible to you? Why?
  • Does the intangibility of some aspects of Christian life make following Jesus harder or easier? Are there blessings that come with the intangibility?
Read 2 Corinthians 5
  • What stands out in the passage to you?
  • How do you see the work of the Holy Spirit and Reconciliation Week fit with what Paul writes here?
Pick one of the following to do as a group (or commit to doing one by yourself and share your experience with the group) to celebrate Pentecost:
  • Walk a labyrinth at Community of the Holy Name in Cheltenham (https://chnmelb.org) or St Augustine’s Mentone (https://mentoneanglican.org.au)
  • Commit to a routine of prayer/scripture reading/meditation to engage with the Holy Spirit
  • Discuss with your group your spiritual giftedness and how you currently use that to serve God in the Ministry of Reconciliation, or consider how you could use that to serve God in a new or different way
Pick one of the following to do as a group (or commit to doing one by yourself and share your experience with the group) to learn more about Reconciliation Week:
Reflection & Discussion Questions

Bible reading: James 4:13-17

  • What do you find most difficult about situations in life that you can’t control?
  • Reflecting on verse 13, what are some of the ways in which we can have a mistaken confidence in plans or purposes we might have instead of in God and His purposes? Why do you think that might be?
  • Reflecting on verse 14, why do you think we like to ‘have control’ of things even though so much of what happens in life is outside of our control?
  • Why is it so important to understand who is in control – as Colossians 1:17 speaks of  – when we aren’t? 
  • Reflecting on verse 15, what does it mean for you to choose to surrender control to the one does have the power to control everything? What gets in the way of you letting go and letting God do what only he can do, of trusting God in faith?
  • Take some time to rest in God’s perfect control and release to Him those things that you need to.
Reflection & Discussion Questions

Bible readings:
Exodus 16:11-19, 31-32; Deuteronomy 6:4-9
 

  • Reflect on the roles and responsibilities God has given you in life, whether they be family, work, or other.
  • In what ways has life felt overwhelming for you through this current season?
  • How have you experienced God providing for you?
    – 
    in past days
    – 
    in the present times
  • Referring to and reflecting further upon the experience of God’s people in Exodus 16:11-19,  as well as what Jesus says in Matthew 6:11, 25-34; why do you think God’s provision for His children is ‘one day at a time’?
  • What might it involve for you to take time to ‘gather what you need’ from God for each day at the start of the day? (Exodus 16:16-18)  
  • Referring to and reflecting further on the words of Deuteronomy 6:4-9, how can you take the opportunity to help shape the lives and faith of others in family life through this season?
  • Take some time to thank God for mothers, as well as praying for them with the extra layers of roles and responsibilities they carry through this season.  Also bring before God the roles and responsibilities that God has given you.  
Reflection & Discussion Questions

Bible reading: Psalm 139:1-4, 13-16, 23-24

Take a few minutes to read through Psalm 139 slowly, stopping and pausing to take in what God is wanting to remind and reassure you of: 

  • What are you particularly reminded of or reassured by as you reflect on what you’ve just read from Psalm 139?
  • What does this psalm teach us both about God and ourselves?

  • As you focus on verse 23, and invite the Spirit of God to ‘know’ your heart and anxious thoughts, what ‘movements of your heart’ or ‘anxious thoughts’ are there during this season e.g. anxiety, grief over the loss of things that are typically a significant part of your life, etc   
  • What does it mean for you to be ‘known and loved’ completely by God, who responds to our anxious thoughts or troubled heart not with condemnation but with gracious care?
  • Take a few minutes to bring the ‘movements of your heart’ or ‘anxious thoughts’ about life in our world at these times before God in prayer, and just ‘sit’ with those things in the presence of your loving Creator who knows both you and the needs of the world intimately.