Take time to welcome any newcomers and catch up on the past week (over drinks or snacks if possible). Then ask group members to:
Over this term, we’re looking at how knowing Jesus gives his followers strength to face the common pressures of life in a way that nothing else can.
Pray a short prayer asking that, however much group members have previously come to know God, they’d know him better as a result of your time together.
In this first section, we’ll consider how wider society tries to make sense of love in the face of death.
Now we’ll consider the Bible’s evidence that love really is stronger than death.
Read Romans 8:34-39.
Paul says that our circumstances can leave us feeling as though we’ve been totally abandoned, like sheep facing slaughter (verse 36).
Though it might not always feel like it, Paul insists that Jesus’ love is greater and stronger than anything that might seem to stand in its path - even death.
As Jesus died, it seemed that death was stronger than love. But as he rose, he demonstrated that love is stronger than death.
In verses 38-39, Paul lists ten things that cannot separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Eight of them are in pairs:
Absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God, secured for us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We can feel totally secure, whatever we face.
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead definitively shows that love is stronger than death.
Watch this short video outlining some of the evidence that Jesus physically rose from the dead [3 minutes].
Some seekers in your group may want to discuss Jesus’ resurrection more. Here are some potential next steps:
You may get a sense that some group members are ready to place their faith in Jesus for the first time. See if they’d like to meet with you, outside of group time.
The short video, Roll Away Your Stone (4 minutes), encourages people to consider how they’ll personally respond to Jesus’ resurrection.
If a group member places their trust in Jesus, contact your Staff Worker. They’d love to pray with you and help you make plans for caring well for your new Christian sibling!
The resurrection of Jesus says that death is dead and that love has won. Offer short prayers of praise to Jesus, celebrating that he is stronger than death.
You could conclude your block of praise with this traditional prayer:
God of glory,
by the raising of your Son, Jesus,
you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill us today with faith, hope and love,
for a new day has dawned
and the way to life stands open
in our Saviour, Jesus Christ,
If you’re able to sing in your group time, many songs can help you celebrate Jesus’ victory over death, including: See What A Morning; I Cast My Mind to Calvary and It Was Finished Upon That Cross.
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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