Family Worship Guide May 1-6

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Day 1

Theme

The Context of Mark 13

Scripture

Mark 13:1-4

Discussion

Apocalyptic Prophesy in the Bible often leaves Christians in one of two camps: 1) The content is so weighty and otherworldly that is becomes a point of unhealthy obsession; or 2) the language and imagery seems so inaccessible that we is tempted to ignore it and move on. On Sunday morning, Pastor Andy challenged us to neither obsess over nor disengage from the content of Mark 13. Rather, we should seek understanding from Jesus' plain intention and the context of His words.

Throughout his adult life, Jesus had progressively revealed that the priests and temple in Jerusalem were corrupt, oppressive, and had fallen far from God's heart. In Mark 13, Jesus used both plain and illustrative language to foretell God's final judgement on the the temple system and all it represented: He would crush it, just as Christ would be crushed for the sins of man. To the ears of a Jew in Jesus' time, the destruction of the temple would have meant the end of his or her world. In fact, the physical destruction of the temple signified a spiritual unshackling of God's people to multiply to every nation, to all corners of the earth. Jesus is our great high priest and our final sacrifice, freeing his people from the failures and oppression of the temple system.

For Parents

As is appropriate to your child, don't shy away from relaying the fear that the disciples must have felt as Jesus described the destruction of the temple. God caused the destruction so that His people could flourish and grow in beautiful new ways all over the world (including your family, as you are likely of partial or full gentile descent). Use examples of difficulty or strife that your child has experienced or witnessed that ended in greater reward. You could also use the example of childbirth (used by Jesus in verse 8) - great pain and difficulty that resulted in even greater blessing.

Prayer

God, we have faith that you are a good Father to. We struggle to understand Your ways but we trust in you. Forgive us for our fear. Help us to trust You.   Amen.

Song

Good Good Father

Chris Tomlin

 

Day 2

Theme

What Is Clear from Mark 13

Scripture

Mark 13:5-8

Mark 13:9-13

Mark 13:14-23

Discussion

In verses 5-8 Jesus foretells of false teachers, great wars, earthquakes, and famine. He then instructs that when these things happen, "do not be alarmed." This awesome man is our Savior- in his power we can endure patiently and maintain faith while the world cycles through wicked destruction around us. However, our Lord does promise suffering for those who bear witness of him to the world. Jesus offers hope to those who will suffer for his namesake: "...But the one who endures to the end will be saved" (verse 13).

Even after promising great suffering, Jesus provided the hope of the survival (and spreading) of the Church, if they will only obey his instructions and flee Jerusalem at the given time. Consider the Christians who have gone before you, securing and spreading the faith for the present generation. Have you truly given your heart over to the spreading and securing of your faith to those around you and future generations? If not, ask God to change your heart and motivations.

For Parents

Think obedience here- though Jesus' prophecy was miraculous, it must have seemed broad and non-specific on that side of history. However, 30 years after the instructions were given, the disciples obeyed their Lord. Don't be afraid to call your child to obedience (to you and God) with a promise of future understanding. We can always trust that God is good and faithful, even if it is hard to understand in some moments.

Prayer

Lord, thank You that You have dominion over this world. You are great, and greatly to be praised! Strengthen our faith in you. Thank You for Your good news that has spread to the world- to many, including me. Though we don't always understand your ways, we have faith in Your goodness. Amen

Song

King of Everything

Austin Stone Worship

 

Day 3

Theme

The Caution of Mark 13

Scripture

Mark 13:32-37

Discussion

Jesus reframes the disciples' question from verse 4 ("Tell us, when will these things be?") with his answer in verses 32-37. To try and determine a date and time for the temple's destruction or Christ's return is folly. Do not worry about the time, Jesus said; simply stay awake as you wait. Jesus knows our shortcomings. He knows our capacity to become complacent, to lose our missional urgency, to let our flame burn out. Salvation, as Jesus said in verse 13, is for those who endure to the end. Have you evaluated the state of your heart? Are you asleep? Are you dozing? Ask the Lord to reinvigorate you, and to carry you through to the end.

For Parents

Scripture tells us to not grow weary of doing good. Obeying Jesus, praying, reading the Bible, loving others; these are not just things we do at church gatherings or at family dinner. These are the spiritual disciplines of Christians both young and old. Talk to your kids about the rhythms of your family and of their life's and how spiritual disciplines fit into those rhythms.

Prayer

Father, thank you for your love and our grace. Thank you for strength to not get tired of doing what is good. You know our weaknesses. Forgive us when we don't do what is right. We trust you and we love you.

 Song

Jesus Is Better

Austin Stone Worship