Catch up on how things have been since the last time your Impact Group met. Allow anyone new to introduce themselves. Then ask group members:
Over this term we’re looking at a series from the Bible’s song book, the Psalms, as we seek to navigate life together looking to God in the variety of seasons we face.
Ask for a volunteer to read Psalm 46 to the group, praying a short prayer that however much they’ve come to know Jesus, they’d know him better as a result of your time together.
|How they are similar
|How they are different
Read Mark 4:35-41.
King David made Jerusalem his capital. It was the final resting place of the tabernacle, the dwelling place of God. David’s son Solomon later built the temple there. For this reason, Jerusalem was known as ‘the city of the LORD’ (Psalm 135:21).
Psalm 46 remembers a time when Jerusalem was threatened by foreign enemies, probably Sennacharib’s Assyrian army during the reign of Hezekiah (see 2 Kings 18:17-19:37). With the Assyrian army approaching, Jerusalem looked doomed. Yet God spoke through Isaiah (Isaiah 31:4-5), promising to defend the city. Jerusalem didn’t itself have a water source, but God’s promises are pictured as being like a secret river within (verse 4).
Overnight, Sennacharib’s army was suddenly and mysteriously destroyed. Jerusalem was left unharmed. The LORD’s delivery on his promises probably inspired Psalm 46, which celebrates how God has made his city totally indestructible.
The writers of the Old Testament agreed that the LORD might be ‘in Jerusalem’ – but that this did not spare the city from divine judgement. God’s commitment to defend Jerusalem depended upon the people’s obedience to him. Eventually, after decades of disobedience, Jerusalem was destroyed in 587BC. Though it was rebuilt, the physical Jerusalem never got close to the promises associated with the city – and it was destroyed again in 70AD.
The New Testament associates the promises regarding Jerusalem to be fulfilled by Jesus, who keeps his people safe, and ultimately the new creation – where God’s people will be with him and kept safe by him eternally (Revelation 21:2).
Jesus promises that because of his death and resurrection there is an eternal place of safety for his people with Him forever.
Ask for any requests for personal prayer. Pray especially that God would help the group members to ‘be still and know God’ in the midst of the pressures they face.
Conversations about faith can make us feel anxious. We worry that we won’t know what to say. We fear what people might think. We’re nervous about disagreeing.
Spend some time praying for one another off the back of your conversation, naming specific friends you’d like to share with.
Thank You – Thank everyone for coming, and ask someone to thank God for your time together in prayer.
Ask – Ask those who are new to reading the Bible if they’d like to explore Uncover, a set of sessions in Mark’s Gospel, allowing them to investigate one of the earliest accounts of Jesus’ life alongside one of you.
Church and CU – What does the CU have planned ahead? And what help would group members value in finding a local church?
Others – Who else could you invite to join your CU Impact Group next week? These friends don’t need to be followers of Jesus and may really appreciate being invited.
See You Soon – Tell the group where and when you’ll meet next week, and arrange who will bring snacks. (You might like to alternate healthy and less healthy weeks!). See if anyone would be up for sharing a meal or just hanging out in the meantime!
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