Message: "When the Fire Got Started"
Year of the Book Discussion Questions
From the Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible: "God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM.' Part of the richness of the Bible is the variety of names it uses to address and speak of God. This story describes how Israel came to know unique and cherished name it had for God- Yahweh, Jehovah (traditional translation), or the Lord… Though the name occurs earlier in the biblical text, here it is given to Moses and Israel for the first time and connected to the 'God of your ancestors,' whose presence and faithfulness Israel already knew." (p. 102).
On John 20:21, from The Gospel of John: A Commentary by F. Dale Bruner: "Representing Jesus Christ in the world is a responsibility too heavy for even believing and commissioned disciples to bear. Therefore the requisite gift. This gift comes with Christ's coming. The Holy Spirit is not a 'second blessing.' Nor are the disciples given conditions of this gift… Jesus here gives his Holy Spirit as he gives himself – as sheer gift. (p. 1164)
- Do you remember where you were during the solar eclipse of August 2017? Describe what it was like looking into the sun. Were you afraid? What kind of precautions did you take and why?
GOD: WHAT IS GOD SAYING/DOING?
- Upon encountering the burning bush, Moses is instructed by God to take off his sandals (v. 5). Why must he take off his sandals and why does he hide his face (v. 6)? What does this reveal about God?
- What does God observe about the Israelites in verse 7? What does God promise to do for them in verse 8? What does this tell us about the character of God?
GATHER: WHAT IS THE COVENANTAL COMMUNITY DOING AND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US?
- God specifically mentions the misery, cries, and suffering of His people (v. 7). As the covenantal community-the family of God-how can we be an encouragement to one another in our sufferings?
- God's promise to lead His people out of Egypt is met with a question from Moses: "Who am I that I should go...? (v. 10) God's response that He will be with him (v. 12) offers great assurance that Moses and the Israelites will not be alone in His endeavor. Knowing what you do of God (especially revealed in this story), what assurance is it knowing that God is with us?
GO: HOW CAN THIS SCRIPTURE SHAPE YOUR INTERACTIONS WITH NEIGHBORS?
- In John 20:21-22, Jesus says to His disciples, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you... Receive the Holy Spirit.” Throughout the Scriptures, God continues to send His people to others who are suffering. What would it look like if you viewed the places you worked, visited, studied, shopped, vacationed, etc... as places God has sent you? Would that change the way you interact with others?
- The promise of the presence of God with Moses is furthered today to us in the person of the Holy Spirit. What does it mean for us (as the Church of Jesus Christ) to be equipped and empowered by the Holy Spirit? Knowing that the Spirit works in and through you, does that give you confidence or peace?
Learn more about Year of the Book, our church-wide initiative to read the Bible together in 2018.