Tag: discussion

Don’t be like the Pharisees

Don’t be like the Pharisees

Study of Luke 12:1-7

It’s busy. So busy that the crowd are standing on each other’s toes. They have gathered to see and hear Jesus and what does He decide to talk to this very large, eager crowd about? Love? Grace? Forgiveness? Nope. He tells them not the be like the Pharisees, who are hypocrites! Not a nice message to hear – especially if you are a Pharisee!

  1. Why do you think Jesus decided to talk about hypocrisy at this moment? Was it because He knew He could reach lots of people with a lesson important to Him? Maybe it was because He knew there were Pharisees in the crowd who would hear the message too? What do you think?
  2. Why does Jesus tell the people to ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees…’ What does He mean by that?
  3. Jesus starts by talking about hypocrisy, then about fearing the devil and finally, about how much God knows about and cares for us – more than the sparrows. Why do you think Jesus combined these stories in one session?
Shining white!

Shining white!

The events of Luke 9:28-36 happen just over a week after Jesus told His disciples about His death and resurrection. He had a lot to think about, so He took Peter, James and John, and went up on the mountain to pray. The disciples fell asleep and when they woke up, Jesus was talking about His ‘departure from the earth’ with Moses and Elijah – two of the greatest prophets known to them! They wanted to make them comfortable, and honour them, so Peter suggested they build tents for Jesus, Moses and Elijah. God came in a cloud and spoke to them and Elijah and Moses vanished, leaving just Jesus and the disciples on the mountain. None of them spoke about the occasion again.

  1. This event is referred to as the transfiguration. Why do you think that is?
  2. Just days before this took place Jesus had been speaking to His disciples about His death and resurrection. Do you think the timing is significant here? If so, why?
  3. Jesus only brought three of His disciples with Him to the mountain. Looking back at previous passages, do you think there was a reason that He brought these three specifically?
  4. What is the significance of Jesus meeting with Elijah and Moses?
  5. What is the relevance of this event for us today?  

Who’s who?

Who’s who?

Luke 7:18-35

This passage is not short nor simple. There are alot of topics covered in a short period of time, and it can be hard to make sense of what is going on. Other than when he baptises Jesus, this is the only passage dedicated to John. We are told in the first chapter of the book that he was born to start the work Jesus would complete but now, John is unsure if Jesus really is the Lord, and sends people out to find out the truth (in Matthew’s book, we find out this is because he was in prison and couldn’t go alone).

  1. What do you think has happened to make John start doubting Jesus’ authority, position and power?
  2. When John’s disciples have left, Jesus flips the question they asked him on its head, asking those around Him who they think John is. Why do you think He did this?
  3. The passage finishes one with one line –”But wisdom is proved to be right by what it does.” What does this mean and what does it have to do with the previous conversations?

Lord of the Sabbath

In Luke 6:1-5, we that once again, Jesus and His disciples are being rebellious by being different and doing things that were not permitted. Doing any work on the Sabbath was viewed as wrong by the authorities. Even drawing water from the well or cooking were too much for the people of the day to do on a Sabbath, so when the disciples were picking and crushing grains, they knew they were doing wrong in the eyes of the law.

  1. Remembering Jesus was with them, why do you think the disciples chose to carry out this act? What does it say about their view of the Jewish rules/ rulers of the time?
  2. Why do you think Jesus told the Pharisees ‘The Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath’? What do you think He meant and how do you think the Pharisees understood it?
  3. What do you think the purpose of the retelling of this event is for us today, and what do you take away from it personally?
Bringing structure to YouBelong

Bringing structure to YouBelong

Today’s post is a bit different to the usual ones but hopefully still of interest and even a little bit interactive!

If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you might have started to notice some more structure and recurring themes each week. This is partially because it helps us to keep up the content and ensure it is frequent and also that it offers something for everyone (hopefully!). I thought it might be a good idea to explain this new structure so as you can know what to expect when following YouBelong on those structures and if you don’t follow us on social media already, perhaps this will help you see what we do and give you an insight into what you can expect to find in the community there.

Monday
Monday is the first day of the regular working week and therefore I wanted to keep things light and encouraging and open up the community members to receive prayer or, if you feel like you would like to, to pray with or for those who comment their prayer requests for themselves and others. Sometimes the posts on a Monday will be minimal and may consist solely of a post asking for people to post their prayer requests and for others to pray with those people and other times there will be some prayers to pray together or some other more creative prayerful posts. In order to keep things memorable, Monday is Mediation Monday – meditation meaning intervene on behalf of others. In this case, the idea is we intervene for others and take their prayer requests to God, somtimes known in churches .

Tuesday
Transient Tuesday as it is now to be known as, is the day I will be sharing my short(ish) blog posts. The word ‘transient’ isn’t really the right word to use but I wanted to keep the same pattern of names with the same first letter as the day name throughout and it’s not that far off! As well as sharing our most recent blog post, we will also be encouraging you to share yours with us by tagging @YouBelong_2019 and #TransientTuesday and we will share as many as possible.

Wednesday
Each Wednesday is going to all things worship. There will be a mixture of worship and praise songs and verses from the bible about worship and sometimes there might even be some quotes or stories about people worshipping God in amazing ways. Some weeks there will be multiple posts and some days will be more quiet due to other commitments but I will do my up most best to ensure there is always something.

Thursday
Thursday, or Theological Thursday as it will now be referred to, is a day to post about some theological questions (sometimes these will be prompted by issues raised in the news or from the blog posts on the Tuesday and sometimes they will be generic theology discussions surrounding church, faith and chronic illness/ disability and other topics that arise in these contexts. We will be encouraging as much interaction as possible and we want to hear a variety of experiences and opinions – all we ask is that we keep the discussions pleasant so as not to upset others in the community. Encouraging others to see our point of view is one thing, forcing our opinion on others or telling them they are wrong is another and will not be tolerated. We are a Christian community so although we will have differences, we have one big thing in common and that is Jesus who showed patience and understanding and love towards all, even those who were clearly wrong and against anything and everything Jesus stood for.

Friday
The one word I use more than any other when describing YouBelong to other people is family or community, therefore, Fridays have come to be known as Family Friday as a way of encouraging people in the community to share a bit about themselves so that we might get to know one another better. At the moment, each Friday has been kicked off with a question posted from the YouBelong account which could range from asking about the members’ favourite colour or animal or food, the place they live, their favourite memory or almost anything else about them as a person and the world they live in. The hope is we will find some things in common to talk about and just generally get to know each other a bit more beyond our illness and disabilities.

Saturday
This is a bit different to others mostly because I, the owner and founder of YouBelong, am currently working part time whilst being full time ill, and trying to grow and maintain YouBelong, the one area of my life I am passionate about and working to make into my job full time. Due to my lack of time and energy, and needing a down day, Saturday has been labelled as Spontaneous Saturday giving us some freedom from posting at particular times of the day or with a certain style of post. Sometimes there might be no posts on a Saturday and other Saturdays might have 10 or 20 posts which might be about what we have been up to in YouBelong world or some interesting posts from others, a beautiful passage we have discovered in a book or almost anything else! I hope you are okay with and understand why this is the case. Hopefully in the coming weeks and months as the team grows and we can get some funding the word ‘spontaneous’ might just become something a bit more interesting!

Sunday
Finally, Sunday. I say finally because as someone in a 9-5 job, Monday is the start of my week although I see Sunday as both the beginning and the end (that makes me think of another key figure in YouBelong land who is the beginning and the end…) so although I had a lot of ideas that would have been nice to use for Sunday, as some of the community attend a physical church and others do not, I thought it would be nice to have Still Sunday. So far, it has been shaped around church attendance in the UK being most common in the morning and the majority of the Christian community having Sunday afternoon and evening as a time of rest and time to spend with friends and family. Therefore, Still Sunday will consist of a few posts, sometimes in a block and sometimes scattered througout the day, encouraging us to be still in sit in God’s presence, to say thank you for the week gone by, raise any worries we have as a result of the week just gone and say thank you for the week that is coming and think about where we might need God with us more thann normal, bring others to Him who mighht need an extra special tough and to listen to what He might have to say to us. There will a variety (like on Worship Wednesday) of verses, songs, thoughts, prayers and more so hopefully, there will be something for people from all backgrounds, traditions and lifestyles.

I am really looking forward to seeing how this works out going forward especially as it should mean I am able to connect with more of you and I hope this more frequent and structured approach will enable more people to learn about the YouBelong community and join us as we support one another and spend time together, and alone, with God.