With just over four weeks until Ash Wednesday, I’ve been wanting to share with you my reflection and discussion guide to On the Way With Jesus: Sermons for Lent and Easter based on the Gospel Readings.
I’ve already shared the book’s cover along with the table of contents and back cover copy. And today I’m sharing Part 1 of the guide that covers Ash Wednesday and the first five Sundays of Lent, with the rest to come soon and very soon!
While the reflection and discussion guide can be used on its own as a Bible study, the guide works best as a companion to On the Way With Jesus, available for purchase from CSS Publishing, Amazon.com, or Amazon.ca. You can also enter to win a free copy—to enter the draw, just leave a comment below or sign up to receive my free updates by Friday, January 31, 9pm Pacific Time.
For a sample from the reflection and discussion guide, please see below.
On the Way with Jesus: Sent
Read: John 9:1-41
- In this encounter between Jesus and a man who had been blind from birth, trace the changes in the man’s physical sight throughout John 9. How did his spiritual sight also change in this chapter?
- How did the man’s family respond to the changes they saw in him? What were they afraid of? How did the religious people respond? Why were they so angry at Jesus?
- Consider how you respond to change. What changes in life have you experienced as healing and positive growth? What changes have made you feel fearful or angry?
- This sermon refers to another story of healing in 2 Kings 5:1-14 in which a man with leprosy is told to wash in the Jordan seven times, and he will be healed. Read the story for yourself and compare and contrast it with this story in John 9.
- Some speak of “the church gathered” and “the church scattered,” meaning the church gathered for worship and the church scattered into the world during the week. Another way to describe the church in the world is “sent,” for we are not only scattered in many different places but we are sent with a purpose.
Like the blind man in our text, we are meant to show the work of God in our lives. . . . Our more immediate tasks may seem laughably simple and small—go wash in the pool, go to school, get to work, do the next to-do on your too-long to-do list, or whatever else has been placed before you this week. But God works in such small things today just as he did for the man who washed in the pool and received his sight. Like him, we have a larger purpose and a longer journey of faith and healing. (page 36)
Think of your more immediate tasks this week. How do they relate to this larger purpose of showing the work of God in your life?
To download Part 1 of the discussion guide that covers Ash Wednesday and the first five Sundays of Lent, please use this link, and stay tuned for Part 2 – Holy Week and Part 3 – Easter.
For more on everyday acts of faith,