Lenten Study Day 11

Look What Jesus Did!

Water to Wine

Water into wine. Probably a simple task, at least for Jesus. In fact, almost too simple. When you consider this is the first miracle Jesus performed, it seems a bit underwhelming. Not that I could do it but wouldn’t you think Jesus’ first miracle would be something with a little more, I don’t know, pizzazz?

He did not want to do it. Told His mother “No!” But she argued with Him, pointing out how embarrassing it would be for the host to run out of wine so soon and how easy it would be for Jesus to fix the problem. I imagine Jesus rolling His eyes as Mary argued and Mary giving Him a no nonsense look. She simply wasn’t going to take NO for an answer. Like any good son, Jesus did what His mother asked. In truth, He did more than she asked.

He could have turned the water into so-so wine. It was late in the day and the guests had been drinking awhile. It wouldn’t have mattered to them. Wedding guests expected a poorer quality of wine later in the celebration. That was just the way it went.

However, Jesus never did thinks half way. Even when it was something a simple, something as minor as turning water into wine. Rather than creating a mediocre wine to serve, the wedding guests were given a far superior wine, even better than the wine first served at the wedding.

Jesus may have been reluctant to do the thing His mother asked but, once He agreed, He did it to the best of His ability, exceeding expectations.

Many times, we are asked to do things we really don’t want to do. The reasons for our reluctance are varied and we share those reasons (or excuses) to get out having to do the task at hand. When we are unable to wiggle our way out, we often act like a petulant child, dragging our feet, complaining loudly and doing a halfway job of it. GET OVER IT! Take a page from Jesus’ Book! Accept the task, get it done and exceed expectations. There! Doesn’t that feel better?

Discussion Questions

1. What tasks are you reluctant to take on when asked?

2. How do you act when you finally agree to do them?

3. How do your children act when you ask them to do things they don’t want to do?

4. How do you respond to them?

5. How can you make a commitment to continue your service?

6. People were afraid of the demoniac. Today, we are often afraid of the people living on the outskirts of society. How can we handle our own fear? How can you address the fear of your children? Take time to discuss this within your family.

It is very easy for us to give money to a cause or problem. I believe Jesus is asking us to give of ourselves with our time and talents. Money is always needed by organizations but find ways to give your time as well. It is what Jesus would do!

Lenten Study Day 10

Watch Out for The Boogie Man

The Demoniac

The demoniac was a scary, scary guy. I bet the locals in town used him to scare kids into behaving. “Be good or the demoniac will get you!” However, the kids wouldn’t have been the only ones to be frighten by this man. He ran around naked. He lived in the tombs. He shouted at people. This man didn’t have much good going for him.

Then Jesus came to town. The demons in the man immediately knew who Jesus is and they confronted him, begging Him not to cast them back into the abyss. Instead, Jesus cast the demons into a herd of pigs. This made the pigs crazy, causing them to rush into the lake and drown. Needless to say, the owners of the pigs were upset that they had lost their pigs!

When the townspeople came out to see what had happened, they were stunned, shocked, amazed to find the demoniac fully dressed and acting normal. Even though he had been cured, people were still afraid of the man. He begged Jesus to take him with Him but Jesus told him to stay and share his story with others, telling them all that God had done for him. Tough as it was, the former demoniac stayed behind and did as Jesus asked.

There are many people that live on the outskirts of our society. Some of them are haunted by demons but many people on the fringe have experience difficulties we can’t begin to understand. Too often, we shun those on the fringe. I believe this may be due to our embarrassment. We feel uncomfortable for not helping. We feel ashamed for their situation. We feel afraid that it could be us.

No matter, Lent is a time to renew our commitment to help those people to whom Jesus dedicated His ministry on earth. Jesus served people society ignored: the hungry, the homeless, the widows, the sick and disabled, the elderly and more.

Jesus takes time for ALL people, showing them how precious each of them is in His eyes and the eyes of His Father. Can we do anything less?

Discussion Questions

1. Discuss how the story of the demoniac relates to people struggling on the fringe of our society today.

2. Talk to your family about the people in your community that Jesus might serve personally if He were here today.

3. Is there any one group on the list that speaks to your heart?

4. How might you take time this week to serve them in some way?

5. How can you make a commitment to continue your service?

6. People were afraid of the demoniac. Today, we are often afraid of the people living on the outskirts of society. How can we handle our own fear? How can you address the fear of your children? Take time to discuss this within your family.

It is very easy for us to give money to a cause or problem. I believe Jesus is asking us to give of ourselves with our time and talents. Money is always needed by organizations but find ways to give your time as well. It is what Jesus would do!

Lenten Study Day 9

Guess What Happen to Me Today?

Matthew is Called by Jesus

Discussion Questions

1. Have you ever felt God calling you into action? How did you respond?

2. When God puts a concern on your heart, do you act immediately?

3. If not, what happened? Did you ever respond or did the urge leave you?

4. Has this ever happened to your kids? How did they respond?

5. How can each of you ensure you respond immediately to God’s call?

Lenten Study Day 8

Wrong Choice!

Discussion Questions

1. How often does your family have family night, playing games, watching movies, etc.? If never, what is stopping you from beginning this tradition?

2. Does your family sit down to dinner together? Do you talk to one another or is everyone busy with their own activities?

3. Does your family spend time together or do all of you simply share a home?

4. What choices would your children like you to make?

5. Do you spend time with friends, having them into your home?

6. Have you even made bad choices you wish you could take back?

7. What can you and your family do to make better choices?

Lenten Study Day 7

The More the Merrier

Feed the Multitude

Discussion Questions

1. When have you ever thought what you had to offer was not enough for the task at hand?

2. Consider times at work or school when you didn’t believe you were up to a task. How did you react?

3. What could you have done to help you multiply your ability?

4. What can you do to help prepare for the next time a crisis arises and you think you don’t have anything to help?