Our sermons on Sunday throughout March and April will be looking at the week leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection in the gospel of Matthew – known as the Passion.
As a church, we are encouraging people to use the period of Lent to establish a daily habit of reading from the Bible, and we will be using passages from Matthew to do so. Each week’s passages will be linked in theme to the sermon on Sunday.
Home groups will be using these same passages to reflect on what we can learn about Jesus from reading the Bible together. We’d love to encourage everyone to use one of the Scripture Journals for their personal reflections each week, and to come to their group prepared to share and listen to each other about what God has laid on our heart for that week. However, these sessions also stand alone.
Please click on the link below to access the week’s readings and some questions to help you think through as a group what we understand the Bible to be saying. This Lent period is not so much a study as a reflection so use the songs, Christian Art reflections and prayers as part of your group time with this aim.
PRAY: Praise Jesus for what you have learned and been reminded of today as we think of him as our King. Praise him that we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom and what that means for us.
PRAY: It is humbling to ask God to show us where he wants us to grow in our faith. Spend some time in silence thanking him that, whilst spiritual growth is hard, it always results in fruit. Repent of areas where you sense God prompting you.
PRAY: Ask God to use our times of communion at Emmanuel to bring us together as a church which seeks to be united in what he has done for us. Pray for the unity of our church because that is what Jesus asked for before he died. (John 17 : 20-23)
PRAY: Using some of the thoughts around prayer that we’ve looked at this week, spend some time praying that God would help you as a group to grow stronger in prayer. Ask God for our church to be a church grounded in prayer.
PRAY: Where do you feel challenged to stand up for your faith? How can the group support you by praying for you over the coming week? What specifically would you like God to help you with in this area?
PRAY: Using this week’s passages and others you know about the hope we hold on to as believers, spend time praying that God would help us to keep an eternal perspective on our life here and now. What does that look like for you in the light of what’s going on in your life at the moment?