Study Guide - Welcome series

Published: Friday, 12 February 2016

Lent 2016

Introduction

On 14 February we are commencing a series based on the Sunday Scriptures and sermons at ABC under the theme of ‘Welcome’. This falls in the period leading up to Easter known as Lent.

Questions will be provided each week and posted in ABC’s Friday Bulletin and on the ABC website. These resources are designed to be a format and stimulus for people wanting to study the passages in small study groups or to do individual study. Don’t feel you have to address all the questions in a group session. Begin by reading the Scripture passage slowly and meditatively, asking God to reveal important things for you to know and act upon.

You may want to read and/or listen to the sermon appropriate to the week as it is posted on the ABC web site. Links to the Sermon Podcasts and Sermon Scripts. Click here to download the study in pdf format.

14 February Welcoming the Stranger

Scriptures: Leviticus 19: 33-37; 1 John 4: 13-21

Who is the alien/stranger? v33

Describe a period or experience when you felt like a stranger.

What was it like to be a stranger?

Who do you think of as an alien/stranger in our country and community?

You shall not oppress the stranger v33

What are the various ways that strangers are oppressed?

The stranger shall be as the citizen v34

What does this shift involve?

You shall love the stranger as yourself v34

It is easy to love our neighbour. It is difficult to love the stranger. This is why the Torah commands us only once to love our neighbour, but on thirty-six occasions commands us to love the stranger.” - Jonathan Sacks, Radical Then, Radical Now, p92.

What exactly do you find difficult about loving the stranger?

For you were aliens v34

How does our knowledge and experience of being strangers teach us to welcome strangers?

‘For you were aliens’ brings to mind the way the apostle Peter addressed Christian believers as ‘resident aliens’ (1 Peter 1:1).

How might this title and experience affect our response to strangers today?

You shall keep all my statutes v35-37

How does this passage relate to the call to welcome strangers?

In what ways do we cherry pick the injunctions of the Bible that we like and ignore the ones that are tough and sour?

1 John 4: 13-21

How does John’s word to Christian believers inform and enrich the call to welcome strangers?

What might the call to welcome strangers mean for me at this time?