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Why We Gather Week 03 (Participant Guide)

Posted by CF Admin on

KEY REMINDERS
YourGroup leaderhas beenprovided with way too much content so that theyhave plenty of material to work with please trust their lead as they choose the elements that are best suited for your group dynamic, andespeciallyif they choose to skip overparticular elements or questions.
If you still wantto engage with a particular question or element that your Group leader skipped over, consider going through that part with a family member, a friend, or on your own.

Setting the Tone:
Every time we gather, we'll practice a ground rule, goal, or value as a group. This week, let's work together to ensure that our Group is a safe place for others to openly share about what God has done in their lIves. More often than not, our faith is wrongly described as a private matter, and so, we don't share how God has shown Himself in our lives, even among our fellow Christians. When someone opens up and recounts God's presence in their life, let's givethem ourfull attention and thank them for sharing afterwards. Let's doeverything wecan to protect and encourage this behavior, including modeling it ourselvesby openly sharing with the group.

Focus of this Week's Message:
God commands us to actively and specifically commemorate what He has done in our lives, as this helps us to collectively trust in Him and draws us closer to each other as a community of faith.

Creative Engagement with This Week's Message:
In the Bible, God's providence was sometimes commemorated with a song (Exodus 15:1-21), or a physical monument (Genesis 28:16-19), or an annual festival (Exodus 13:9-10). This week, let's practice some "Show & Tell" inregards to some of the tangible things that remind us of how God is at work.

  • Can anyone describe for the group some physical objects that remind you of something that God did in your life, and is that memory attached to anything you wear, or something in your pocket or purse or phone?
  • Do you have traditions, places, songs, jewelry, post-it notes, or other tangible things which trigger memories of what God has done?
  • Has anyone in the group come from a different Christian tradition (for example Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy) which emphasize visual representations of God? How did including this in your worship help you encounter and remember God?

Questions for Large Group Discussion:

Questions for Basic Understanding:
This part of the group discussion is about gaining a big picture, "lay of the land" view of what's happening in Scripture.

  • What had the Israelites seen God do on their behalf to deliver them from Egypt? (If needed, skimthrough the earlier chapters of Exodus for some examples.)
  • What are the Israelites specifically commanded to do in Exodus 13:3-13? What verbs jump out at you in this text? What would you think of observing these practices today?
  • In Exodus 13, God is commanding His people to commemorate how He delivered them from Egypt, specifically with the Passover. The ways in which they are instructed to commemorate the event also mirror specific elements of how God saved them. They are even instructed to not use yeast and have unleavened bread, as they did when leaving Egypt. Can you think of any examples ofChristian rituals, symbols, and traditions that areconnected tosomething thatGod has done?

Questions for Listening to Scripture:
This part of the group discussion is about wrestling with the meaning of what Scripture is saying.

  • A key element of most family gatherings is a telling of stories from our common history together. These stories (for example: "Remember the time Uncle Bob fell and broke his leg") serve to draw us together as a community. In Exodus 13, as well as other places in Scripture, God commands his people to come together for communal remembrances. Yet, today'sculture has lost its sense of cohesion and identity. How can we as a church visibly model a shared family history?
  • In Exodus 13, we see God commanding the Israelites to commemorate the day Hedelivered them from Egypt. However, in Exodus 14, we see that the job is not done yet, for Pharaoh is pursuing them and God will need to save them yet again. In Exodus 13:14 it even foreshadows that hard times are coming "in the days to come". How does remembering and commemorating what God has done in the past help us to trust Him in the present and future?

Questions for Being Examined by Scripture:
This part of the group discussion is when we ask God how He wants to take these words from the pages of the Story of Scripture, apply them to our hearts and lives, and call us to move on what He is saying to us.

  • Describe a time when God came through for you. Take some time to openly share your personal testimonies or a recent time when God came through for you. (Keep in mind that not everyone will be ready to share in this way. In addition, these stories can take some time to share, so you may want to spread them out over several gatherings.)
  • What situation do you need to trust God with right now?
  • How can the group pray for you?
  • How has hearing the group speak about God's faithfulness impacted your thinking about your situation?
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