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 84 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 the psalmist speaks about God’s temple
|Expressed in your own words
The temple served as a place of welcome and belonging, a place the psalmist longed for. Christians are on a similar journey today, not towards a new temple but towards Jesus’ restored world.
Psalm 84 depicts someone who wants to be at the temple - but who, for some reason, cannot be there. The prayer for God’s ‘anointed one’ i.e. the king (verse 9) suggests that a return to Jerusalem may not be possible because of impending war.
We’ve seen in previous sessions how central the temple was to the life of the people of Israel. It embodied the welcome of God, and his willingness to provide the sacrifice necessary for life with him forever.
The hope - of returning to the temple - fuels the psalmist. Even though he is in the Valley of Baka - an extremely arid place - he pictures the hope of returning to the temple as causing springs and pools to erupt in the wilderness (verse 6), making him strong (verse 7). Having set his heart in this way makes him blessed (verse 5).
This image - of knowing the future welcome of God in his presence - also fuels Christians to continue our pilgrimage today (see, for example, 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18).
Anyone following Jesus is on a journey towards a destination: our future heavenly home.
We have a guarantee that we’ll be welcomed when we arrive. The psalmist teaches us to live in anticipation of this future in our present circumstances.
Take time to pray together. Ask God to help you to live in all seasons of life now in light of your future home.
A powerful way of sharing your hope Jesus is to tell friends about the difference that Jesus has made in your life.
Pray together for opportunities to share these stories in the coming week.
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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