Questions for the 2nd Sunday in Lent (February 28, 2021)
Genesis 22:1-14; (Romans 8: 31-39); Mark 8:31-38
- Jehovah-Jireh means God provides. Share with one another a story of provision that has shaped you and your faith. Remember God’s provision can be in the form of hard things that change us for good. Was this provision over time or in a moment? How did it shape you and your faith?
- Testing is often experienced in difficult times. Fr. Jonathan quotes St. Paul “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5). What is being held out for the believer besides simply surviving? What is the nature of the character that is formed? What is the nature of the hope that is produced? What is the importance in this process of the love of God Paul’s speaks of?
- God has provided Abraham and Sarah with a son Isaac when they were very old. Now in the story for this Sunday God asks Abraham to sacrifice that son. What might be at stake for Abraham from God’s perspective that God would ask such an act? What might Abraham have to inform his faith in the moment? It must have been tremendously difficult to walk in that faith in that moment. How might Abraham have been shaped by this experience?
- Abraham called the place where this all took place as “the Lord will provide”. Fr. Jonathan highlights the importance of place. Tradition says that Jerusalem was built on the place of Abraham’s sacrifice, therefore it near to this place that Jesus was sacrificed. How has reflected on Abraham’s story given insight into the story of God’s sacrifice of his Son?
- Place is important. Share with one another the characteristics of your neighborhood. Who are neighbors? How has where you live been important for you as a believer? How has God used where you live in your life? How has he used you as salt and light in your neighborhood?
- In Mark 8 Jesus says to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”. There is a “sold-out” nature to this call of Jesus as he and his disciples head towards Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion and the apparent loss of everything. Like Abraham heading into his test of faith, what did they have to inform their faith as they faced the days ahead? How did their fear effect their capacity to walk in faith? (Notice that God did not abandon them when their faith was weak.) How did Jehovah-Jireh provide for them in those days and the ones to follow?
- Share with one another where it is a challenge for you to have your life open, accessible, and submitted to Jesus. Pray for movement deeper in this submitted followership.