To start, ask everyone to pull up this page on their phones by navigating on the Liberti website to Resources > Home Group Resources and clicking on the link for this week.

Once they have the page loaded, you might ask folks to turn their phones on airplane mode. Few of us can stand the temptation :).

Gather & worship

Leader: Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!
All: We will praise the LORD as long as we live;
we will sing praises to our God all our life long.

Leader: Happy are those whose hope is in the LORD their God,
who made heaven and earth, the sea,
and all that is in them;
All: We will praise the LORD as long as we live;
we will sing praises to our God all our life long.

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
People: we will praise the LORD as long as we live;
we will sing praises to our God all our life long.


This fall, as a companion to our sermon series on Gospel of Mark, we are encouraging folks to join us in reading through the gospel together. There are a reading plan and other resources, available on the website.

Read (Mark 2:23-3:6)

2:23 One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? 26 He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” 27 Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; 28 so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

3:1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” 4 Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.


discuss & reflect

Before starting your discussion, take 2 minutes to observe and reflect on the passage by yourself. What stands out to you?

  1. Have you ever felt a need to use your time differently? It could be a big or small thing, making time for something in your schedule or perhaps allowing for unstructured availability to other people or to God. What was the result of the decision that you made?

  2. There are two moments in the passage when the Pharisees object to Jesus’s actions in this passage. What feelings or interests do you think are behind their reactions? (Hint: Like all of us, their motivations are probably multi-faceted and messy.)

  3. What does Jesus’s comment about the Sabbath (v. 2:27-28) imply about our obligation as Christians to follow God’s commands? What might be some good reasons to follow God’s “rules”?

  4. Jesus gets angry in this passage (v. 3:5). This might - understandably - be uncomfortable for many of us, particularly if we’ve had difficult experiences with anger, in our own lives or with others. Why is Jesus angry? How does it make sense that Jesus would be both “grieved” and angry? How does he respond to his anger?

  5. The sermon challenged us to follow God’s rules while avoiding judgment and guilt. What are some concrete ways that we can make Liberti a place where we both encourage one another to be serious about follow Jesus and remain safe and non-judgmental, where we don’t have to hide our sins?

  6. What does it look like to be agents of restoration in each other’s lives, in a spirit of gentleness (Galatians 6:1-2)?


Pray

End your time by sharing requests for prayer and praise. Here are two ways you might consider entering into group prayer:

  1. Staying together as a group and inviting prayer requests. After each person shares their request, the group responds with the following:
    Leader: Lord in your mercy,
    All: Hear our prayer.
    OR

  2. Divide into smaller groups (e.g., by gender), share prayer requests, and pray.