The Purpose of Waiting


Last week we allowed ourselves to embrace Christ’s light and practiced shining that light in our communities. What was it like? What steps did you take to live with the light and love of Christ? This week, as we move closer toward Passion week, our text today reveals to us both the agony and the necessity of Christ’s death and resurrection. 

 SCRIPTURE: John 12:27-33 


What are some things that happen in the world that don’t seem loving or kind? How do you feel when you see them?  Which of these unloving things feel remote or out of reach (something that happens “over there”)?  Which of them are a part of your daily lives?  What are some ways that we participate in these broken systems?  What kind of life-giving action could you make instead? 


As your act of fasting this week, we encourage you individually or as a family to choose a “system” in this world that is in need of God’s love and redeeming power. For example, you could fast from video game technology and create a family game that fosters family interaction. You could decide to not watch any TV, always call instead of text, eat at home instead of restaurants, only purchase fair trade items, etc.  At the end of the week, share how you, with God’s help, actively challenged that system this week.  


God of all creation, We come to you this week with mournful hearts.  Hearts that are heavy.  Hearts that are broken.  Hearts that are disconnected from each other.  We see the daily challenges of our world.  We admit that we participate in systems that benefit usyet exclude or harm others.  Forgive us for the ways in which we do not help as you do, work as you do, love as you do.  Help us to see ways in which we can draw others to youand challenge us to commit to working towards a more just world.   AMEN.  


Lord, Please Give Me Patience NOW

  1. Describe the most patient person you know. What do you feel makes them so? Have they always been a patient person or is this something you have seen grow in them? Would you describe yourself as someone who is patient? Why or why not? If not, what do you feel is preventing you from being patient?
  2. In what situations do you find yourself struggling the most with patience? What does this reveal about your growing edges? How can you reframe these situations to see them as opportunities to develop in Christ-likeness?
  3. The fruit “patience” in Galatians 5:22-23 is translated from the Greek in three different ways in the NIV, NLT, and NKJV. Compare and contrast the words used. What conclusions do you come to about the intended ‘type’ of patience based on this?
  4. Why is patience with circumstances generally easier than patience with people?
  5. Exodus 34:6, Nehemiah 9:17, and Psalm 103:8-10 (to list only a few) describe God as being “slow to anger.” Describe the ways in which you have experienced God’s patience in your own life.
  6. Read Proverbs 14:29. What are some of the repercussions of our lack of patience?
  7. Look carefully at Colossians 3:12-13 and Ephesians 4:1-2. In both cases, what phrase do you find which indicates the need for patience with one another? Why do you think it is used?
  8. If the “fruit of the Spirit grows best in the garden of obedience”, what does this look like for you this week?
  9. What do you sense God has been saying to you through this study? What are you going to do about it?