Session 3: In God’s Time, In God’s Way
Please have your Bible with you as you make your way through this reflection. As Father John likes to say, “Bible study is not a spectator sport.” He will be using the New American Bible Revised Edition.
Scripture Passages Mentioned:
- Jeremiah 29
- Jeremiah 31
- Psalm 146
- Isaiah 42:7
- Isaiah 61:1
- Isaiah 44:28
- Ezekiel 11:14
- Ezekiel 33:23
- Ezra 3-6, 9
- 2 Maccabees 7
- Romans 8:35
- Were you surprised to learn that Cyrus, the King of the Persian Empire, is described in Isaiah as God’s “shepherd” and God’s “messiah”? Who (or what) have been some of the unlikely agents of restoration in your life? In what ways were they helpful? Did you openly receive them, or did you resist? Do you think there are any potentially helpful allies in your life right now whom you are overlooking because of, for example, fear or resentment?
- Through the words of Jeremiah, God told the Israelite exiles in Babylon to stay put and even to pray for the welfare of their captors. How well do you deal with impatience during chaotic times? How do you balance the tension between having high personal expectations for resolving the crisis on the one hand, and God’s desire for you to trust in Him on the other?
- Even though Jesus Christ came into the world to bring salvation from the chaos of sin and death, it is still true that his message and his presence were (and can continue to be) sources of conflict and division among those who resisted his mission. Where, in your personal life, have you encountered Jesus Christ as a source of restoration from chaotic times; where have you experienced him as a challenging presence that may even have precipitated disagreement?
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