Home Group Notes following Mothering Sunday - Joys and Sorrows

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Small Group Material: 
Week Commencing: 
3 Apr 2011
Bible Base: 
Luke 2:25-35, 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

“Mother’s Day” can be a difficult day for many – a day when the realities of life are ignored in a glut of sentimentality. The readings we used at 9.00 on Mothering Sunday recognise the realities of life!
1)      Read Luke 2:25-35
2)      What caused Simeon to be joyful?
3)      What are the good things that came (and still come) from the coming of Jesus?
4)      In v 34 Simeon blessed Joseph, Mary and Jesus. Was that blessing about a future life filled with comfort and joy? How was the prophecy that a sword would pierce Mary’s heart fulfilled?
5)      What was the result for the world of the fulfilment of the prophecy in 4?
6)      Those who are parents – do we share in anything similar to Mary’s heart being pierced?
7)      Is God’s heart ever pierced?
8)      Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
9)      How is God described in this passage?
10)   Why does Paul praise God?
11)   What does this passage suggest about why God sometimes allows us to go through difficult times? Have any of the group examples from their own experience?
12)   David Prior writes about this passage (in his book The Suffering and the Glory (H and S 1985): We share God’s comfort with those who are suffering ....If I do not admit I am suffering, nobody can come alongside me with God’s comfort. We are ...called into this mutual ministry, by virtue of being members together of the body of Christ. The rhythm of suffering and comfort is not accidental....As Denney writes ‘Some mysteries would be cleared up if we had love enough to see the ties by which our lives were indissolubly linked to others’
Discuss.
13)   Bishop Roy Williamson says that the Christian life is like being on a dark road at night walking eastwards (towards the dawn). God is with us, but it is dark. But the dawn is certain to come. Along the road there are occasional lampposts where we enjoy a foretaste of the dawn. Discuss this illustration; some members of the group might be able to share ‘lamppost experiences’.