Crash of Heaven and Earth Week 2: “Good News For The Poor”

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The goal of this lesson is for students to understand their role in the Kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven”.

Icebreaker

(You will need at least a section of newspaper for this activity.)
*** Please bring your own newspaper or ask if you need one. Otherwise, there will not be any available on Sunday night. ***

Have a few students go through the paper and find some examples of “Good News”. Have them share with the group. Have a few students go through the paper and find some examples of “Bad News”. Have them share with the group. Then ask the question: “What would it take for the “Bad News” to be “Good News?”

(In other words: “What would be “Good News to the people in those bad situations?”)

Introduction: “What’s Your Story?”

What is the best news you have ever gotten in your entire life? What made it such good news? How did you respond? What would be good news to you right now? Why?

Transition

“We started a new series today where we are talking about heaven and earth colliding, and how we can live lives that bring the Kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven (like Jesus’ words in the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to pray). Today, we are going to talk about how this message is good news to all people. Listen to this passage of Scripture, read by Jesus at the beginning of his ministry, and think about how it relates to our series…

Scripture Reading(s): Luke 4:14-21 (TNIV)

14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.

15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written.

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” [Isaiah 61:1-2]

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Discussion Questions

  • What do you think Jesus meant when he said that the Scripture was fulfilled in their hearing of it?
  • How was Jesus’ message “good news” to people? How was Jesus’ life and ministry “good news” to people?
  • What would be “good news” to people today? What do you think Jesus’ life and ministry would be like in 2010?
  • What can we do (as individuals and as a group) to “proclaim good news” with our words and our actions?
  • How does this passage relate to Jesus’ prayer from last week: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”?

Closing

“We’re going to close tonight’s session with something we’ve done in a past week called Lectio Divina. You are going to take a passage of Scripture (the Isaiah passage that Jesus quoted in Luke).

“Good News, Bad News”

LECTIO DIVINA Activity and Discussion Questions

Read the passage of Scripture below (as a group), very slowly. Sit in silence and just think about what was read.

Read it a second time. This time, use your senses to respond.
What do you hear, see, and feel around you in this passage?
What emotions do you think the author is intending to provoke in the hearers?

Read the story a third time. What word or phrase jumps out at you as you read?
What do you think God might be trying to communicate with you through that word or phrase?
What would you like to say back to God in response to what you think God might be saying to you?
How can you respond in your life to what you think God might be saying to you?
How can we as a group help (and pray for) one another to respond to what God is saying through this Scripture?

LECTIO DIVINA Scripture Passage: Isaiah 61:1-4 (TNIV)

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, [a]

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called mighty oaks, a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

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Trey has been in full-time ministry for almost 20 years and is currently serving as Pastor of Discipleship and Lead Pastor of Modern Worship at First UMC in his hometown of Murfreesboro, TN. He is married to Abbey, and they have two kids: Lilly Broox and William. Trey is also an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church, has a Master of Divinity from Asbury Seminary, and is finishing up a Doctorate of Ministry in Youth, Family, and Culture from Fuller Seminary. His passions are encouraging and equipping people to grow in their relationship with Christ and with others.

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