Mary: The Possibility of Impossibility

Downtown Church sermon from August 8, 2010 by David Mathews. This sermon is part of our series, A Cloud of Witnesses–Pointing Us to Jesus!

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Small Group Questions

1. What is the most significant lesson for you concerning the video we watched today, ‘The Extra Mile’?

2. Read Luke 1:26-38.  Discuss Mary’s situation as she learned about the coming birth of Jesus.  What might have been some of her feelings, emotions (fear?, etc.), and thoughts as Gabriel gave her the news?

3. Read Luke 1:39-45.  What is significant about Mary’s visit with her relative Elizabeth?  Discuss Elizabeth’s blessing of Mary.

4. Mary’s song is recorded in Luke 1:46-55.  What themes do you find in Mary’s song?

5. Discuss Mary’s faith in the ‘impossible’ (having God’s son) becoming possible.  What or who do you think contributed to this faith?  Discuss the role of Joseph in this story (Matthew 1:18-25; 2:13-23).

6. Share with your group an ‘impossible’ time in your life that turned into ‘possible’.  What were the contributing factors that helped change the ‘impossible’ to the ‘possible’?

Elijah: The High Stakes of Being Human

Downtown Church sermon from July 25, 2010 by David Mathews. This sermon is part of our series, A Cloud of Witnesses–Pointing Us to Jesus!

Download the MP3

Small Group Questions
Pendulum Swings:
As you begin your Small Group this week, name your favorite…
-bad advice you have ever received or given.
-game piece in Monopoly.
– Old Testament prophet.
-parable of Jesus.

1. READ: 1 Kings 17:1-24; 18:16-48; 19; 2 Kings 2
Elijah’s life is one big highlight film. Which of the following are your favorite Elijah moments and why?
– boldly telling the evil king Ahab about the coming drought – 1 Kings 17:1,2
– being fed by the ravens – 1 Kings 17:2-6
– dealings with the widow at Zarephath
– the jar of flour and the jug of oil never being used up – 1 Kings 17:7-16
– the raising of the widow’s son from the dead – 1 Kings 17:17-24
– contest with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel – 1 Kings 18:16-40
– incredible faith in hearing the sound of rain before it rained – 1 Kings 18:41-46
– being taken to heaven – 2 Kings 2
– appearing with Moses and Jesus on the mount of transfiguration – Matthew 17; Mark 9; Luke 9

2. Elijah did not always exhibit great faith. 1 Kings 19:3 tells the story of Elijah being afraid of Jezebel and running for his life.  Discuss the possible reasons for this faith ‘meltdown.’  Why did the man who faced fearlessly the 450 prophets of Baal, risking his life, fail miserably when Jezebel promised to kill him?

3. READ:  James 5:13-18
Discuss the significance of James telling us that Elijah was a man (human) just like us?
If we are to be people of powerful prayer just as Elijah was, what are some things that hinder us to be mighty prayer warriors?  James teaches us that we are to confess our sins to each other, and pray for one another. Why do many of us hesitate to do this? What might be some of the tremendous benefits of doing this?  Have some share how doing this (confessing and praying for one another) has helped their lives.

4. READ:  James 5:19, 20
We as humans have the responsibility to be involved in bringing back our brothers and sisters who have sinned, even stating that we can save them from death!  Only if appropriate, share very carefully those you know who might need this.  Close by praying for them individually, asking God for wisdom and strength to help bring them back.