29 Nov Discussion Guide: Such A Time As This – Week 5
Before We Get Started
For our discussion today we will be using the sermon series discussion guides. If you would like to follow along you can access this discussion guide on the website at mosaicchurchaustin.com and then select “community group resources” in the menu options.
Because the main goal of our time together is to establish relationships and learn how to walk with one another in all that God has called us to be and do, we’d like to begin by praying for one another. So, does anyone have anything you’d like us to pray for, or anything to share regarding how you’ve seen God moving in your life that we can celebrate together.
This Week’s Topic
Today we begin a new series that will take us through one of the most interesting books and stories in the Old Testament; the story of Esther. Over the next few weeks we will see how God sovereignly orchestrates painful, scary, and difficult circumstances to actually bring about the deliverance of His people. If there were ever a time where we were needing to be reminded of that Truth, 2020 is it. So, I want to encourage us all to jump in and contribute to the discussion as we let Scripture remind us that what the enemy meant for evil, God has purposed for good, and that He is allowing us to experience what we are experiencing this year because He has a good and loving purpose for our lives, and has called us for…Such a Time as This.
The Great Reversal
As we come to the end of the book of Esther we see the culmination of not only Esther herself, but of the reversal of the Jewish people’s doomed predicament. We see that Esther’s outer beauty caught the eye of the king in chapter one, but it was her inner beauty that moved his heart to act more justly.
“When one goes on to find “better”, or “higher”, or “truer”, or “more enduring”, or “more widely agreed upon” forms of beauty, what happens to our regard for the less good, less high, less true, less universal instances? Simone Weil says, “He who has gone farther, to the very beauty of the world itself, does not love them any less but much more deeply than before”.”
What are somethings you find beautiful?
When you see, or encounter, those things how does it make you feel, how does it change you?
Why do you think there is a connection to what we see as beautiful and how we view justice?
“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.”
What does Paul mean by “slaves to sin,” and “slaves to righteousness?”
Why do you suppose Paul uses the phrase, “Slaves of righteousness,” instead of saying free in righteousness here?
Does this mean Christians never sin? If not, then what is Paul saying about us when we do sin?
‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death… For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
How does the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus impact the way you see Him, yourself, and/or your enemies?
Grace and justice seem to be opposing concepts in many people’s minds. What would you say is the correlation between grace and justice? How do those two things actually work together?
How can we be a people who pursue justice with a heart of grace?