Video Introduction

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Week 19: Simeon and Anna Welcome Christ

December 27:  Christmas I: Simeon and Anna

Isaiah 63:15-19
Psalm 28
Galatians 4:4-7
Luke 2:21-38

Further Reading and Meditation
Isaiah 40
Isaiah 57:14-21
Psalm 27:1; 13-14
James 5: 7-11

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.



1) What emotions do you feel when you have to wait in a line or in traffic?

2) Why do we as North Americans have such a hard time being patient?  What about our culture makes it difficult for us to wait for things?

3) Certain things cannot be rushed.  Friendships, gardens, spiritual growth all take time.  What happens if we try to rush these things?

4) In the Jesus Story Year, we’ve learned that God takes time to do things, takes time to reveal and unfold His salvation.  What do you think of that?  Why do you think He takes time?

5) What are you waiting on God for right now?  How is that difficult?  What is God doing in your life as you wait on Him? 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Week 18: Christ Comes to Change the World

Story Eighteen:  Christ Comes to Change the World

Micah 5:2-5a
Psalm 80:1-7
Hebrews 2:9-18
Luke 1:39-55

Further Reading and Meditation
1 Samuel 2:1-10
Genesis 22:16-18
Habakkuk 3:18
Psalm 103:17
Psalm 107:9
Luke 1:67-80
Luke 2:29-32

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your ,o,cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.  These questions refer to specific verses, so you will need to be looking at the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) in order to answer them.

1)  Why does Mary’s soul praise the Lord?  What things has the Lord done that she would say that?

2)  Has Mary seen the mighty humbled and the humble exalted?  Have you?  Try to be specific.

3)  Does it comfort you to think of God giving the poor good things but sending the rich away empty?  Would that comfort Mary?  Does that sound like the God you know?

4)  What promises is God fulfilling by sending Christ? 

5)  What promises has God yet to fulfill? 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Week 17: Christ Came in the Flesh

Story Seventeen:  Christ Came in the Flesh
You can hear the sermon for this story by going here.

Isaiah 7:10-17
Psalm 24
2 John 1-11
Luke 1:26-38

Further Reading and Meditation
I Samuel chapter 1

Matthew 15:53-58      
John 2:1-11

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible
study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or
omitted for smaller children.


1)  How do you feel about surprises?  Do you generally like them? 

2)  Have you ever been asked to do something that was far outside of what you thought you were capable of?  What was it?  How did it go?

3)  Jesus Christ had a mother, just like you do.  What would it be like to be the Mother of God


4)  The scriptures are very clear that Christ came in the flesh, that he is fully human as well as fully God.  What difference does it make to you that God decided to become a real human being?  What does it say about what God values?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Week 16: Christ, the Promise Fulfilled

Story Sixteen:  Christ, the Promise Fulfilled
Listen to the sermon for this part of the story here.

Sunday Morning Readings
2 Samuel 7:4, 8-16
Psalm 132:8-15
Romans 1:1-7
Matthew 1:18-25

Further Reading and Meditation
Daniel 7:13-14
Micah 5:2
Zechariah 9-14

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1)  Today’s story is all about promises made and fulfilled.  What was the the most recent promise that you made?  Have you fulfilled it?

2)  In the Old Testament lesson, God promises David will always have a descendent on the throne of Israel.  Why did God give that to David and not Saul?  In what way did God fulfill that promise?

3)  Joseph is given a promise in this passage that he will have a son who will save God’s people.  How would you have handled this promise, and this situation, if you were in Joseph’s situation? 

4)  In what way is Jesus like his “father” David?  In what way is he like his “father” Joseph?

5)  What promise has God fulfilled for you?  What promise has God made to you that remains unfulfilled?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Take Home Guide for Week 15: Christ, the Mystery Revealed

Story Fifteen:  Christ, the Mystery Revealed
Listen to the sermon by following this link.

Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-8
Romans 16:25-27
Matthew 1:1-17

Further Reading and Meditation
Psalms  2:-12, 8:1-9, 110:1-7, Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7, 11:1-5, 42:1-9, 49:5-7

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your ,o,cell group, Bible
study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or
omitted for smaller children.

1)  Do you enjoy mystery novels, or moves and TV shows that center on a mystery?  What is your favorite example of a mystery?  (Fr. Thomas loves the movie Memento, for instance). 

2)  Israel lived for hundreds of years with this mystery: “how would God redeem his people and be faithful to his promises?”  If you were alive in the time of Christ, what might you have guessed God was going to do?

3)  Paul calls Christ and the Gospel “the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret from long ages past” (Romans 16:25).  What promises of God did Christ fulfill?

4)  What aspect of Christ is mysterious to you today?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Take Home Guide for Week 14: Christ in the Furnace



Story Fourteen:  Christ in the Furnace

Sunday Readings
Daniel 3:1-2, 4-6, 8, 12, 14, 16-30
Psalm 18
Acts 12:1-11
Luke 4:14-21

Further Reading and Meditation
The Book of Daniel, especially the first six chapters.

Discussion Questions
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your  cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1)  Is the story of Shadrach Meshach and Abednego familiar to you?  Is there any part of that story that jumps out at you or that you particularly like?

2)  Shadrach Meshach and Abednego are often seen as examples of great courage.  Can you think of a time in which you witnessed a person being courageous for their faith?

3)  Like these three, Peter (in the reading from Acts) is also freed from imprisonment.  Do you know someone who has been freed from a literal or metaphorical prison?

4)  Christ says that he comes to set the captives free.  Have you been freed from captivity?  Would you be willing to tell the group about that?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Story Thirteen: Elijah and Prophets of Ba'al

November 15:  Elijah and the Prophets of Ba’al
Sermon and Notes from Fr. Kenny Benge

Sunday Readings
1 Kings 18:20-40
Psalm 96
Colossians 2:1-12
John 14:1-10

Further Reading and Meditation
1 Kings 16-22
2 Kings 1-2
Isaiah 44:9-20 (Read it in The Message if you have it)
I Thessalonians 1:2-5, 9-10

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.



1) What emotions do you feel when something seems beyond your control?

2) How important are your relationships to you?  How does your relationship with God influence your other relationships—marriage, friendships, children, and work?

3) When you feel angry, anxious, or scared, what do you do to feel better?  What do you do to recover a sense of power?

4) Idols are almost always some aspect of God’s good creation – work, money, relationships, wisdom, knowledge, even spirituality – that we substitute for God. How can we tell when something becomes idolatrous? 

5) When we are in Christ, the power of idols in our life has been broken.  What are things that we can do as individuals and as communities to keep potential idols in their proper place?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Take Home Guide for Week Twelve: Divine Wisdom



Story Twelve:  Christ as Divine Wisdom
Click here for the audio of the sermon

1 Kings 3:16-28
Proverbs 3:13-26
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Matthew 11:16-19

Further Reading and Meditation
The Book of Proverbs

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your ,o,cell group, Bible
study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or
omitted for smaller children.

1)  Do you have a favorite proverb or wisdom saying (from the Bible or from another source)?  If so, what is it?

2)  How would you define “wisdom?”

3) What person in your life do you think of as wise?  Why do you think that?

4)  Have you ever been given wise advice?  Talk about that situation, what was going on, and what advice were you given?

5) 1st Corinthians 1:25 says “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”  What is a specific difference between godly wisdom and worldly wisdom?  Give an example.

6) The previous verse of 1st Corinthians, 1:24, says “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”  Wisdom is often personified in the Scriptures, with Christ himself seen as Divine Wisdom.  What difference does it make to you and your life if Christ himself, rather than a set of principles, is Wisdom?  How might that affect the way you make decisions?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Take Home Guide for Week Eleven: David, Goliath, and Christ

Story Eleven:  David, Goliath, and Christ
Listen to the sermon by clicking here!

Sunday Readings
1 Samuel 17:1-11, 32-51
Psalm 9:9-20
Revelation 12:7-12
Luke 4:33-37

Further Reading and Meditation
1 Samuel, the whole book but especially chapters 15-20
1 Chronicles 11-29

Discussion Questions

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) The story of David and Goliath is one of the most familiar in the entire Bible.  What parts of that story are particularly memorable to you?  Why is this story so popular?

2) Saul was King of Israel, and one of the largest men in his nation.  What prevented him from going out and fighting Goliath?  Have you recently been in a situation like Saul’s, in which you needed to do something but you didn’t do it, or at least didn’t want to do it?

3) Over and over again, the New Testament refers to Jesus Christ as the “Son of David.”  This means that he is descended from David, but also that he is like David.  Thinking of the life of King David, what similarities do David and Christ share?

4) How comfortable are you with the idea that God gives David the power to kill a man?  How much does the violence of the Old Testament trouble you, if at all?

5) How comfortable are you with the idea of a literal Satan and literal demons? 

6)  What does Christ’s ability to defeat evil beings, both human and demonic, mean to you personally?  Have you seen Christ do this in your own life?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Take Home Guide for Week Ten: Joshua and Jericho

Story Ten:  Joshua and Jericho

Joshua 5:13-6:7, 15-21
Psalm 24
Revelation 1:9-19
Matthew 10:24-39

Further Reading and Meditation
Numbers 13-14
Joshua 1:1-5:12
Joshua 24
Colossians 1:15-23

Discussion Questions:


Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.



1) Have you ever returned to a place of failure or disappointment?  Been required to attempt something again that you were unable to do before?  What emotions did you experience?

2) When Joshua encountered the holiness of Christ, he fell down in humility and worshipped.  Have you ever encountered or experienced the holiness God in such a way that you have been humbled and drawn to worship?  How did it happen?

3) Have you ever thought of Jesus as a warrior?  How does that change your view of him?

4) Can Christ be our Savior and not our Lord?  What does it look like for us to live under Christ’s Lordship? 

5) What habits or practices help you live under Christ’s Lordship?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Take Home Guide for Week Nine: Christ and Moses



Jesus Story Year Take Home Guide
Story Nine: Christ and Moses

Sunday Readings:
Exodus 19:1-9, 18-20, 20:1-3
Psalm 90
Hebrews 3:1-6
Mark 9:2-9

Further Reading and Meditation:
Exodus 16-20
Deuteronomy 1-6
Psalm 119
Matthew 23
John 1:14-18
John 8:31-49
2 Corinthians 3

Discussion Questions:
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family. Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Do you know the story of Israel in the wilderness, after they left Egypt?  What is the most memorable part of that story? 

2)  Did you grow up with the Ten Commandments as part of your life?  Can you remember all ten?

3)  What rules do church people think are most important? 

3)  How much of your religious or spiritual life has been about doing the right thing and obeying the rules?  How important is that aspect of religion to you?

4) What is the difference, if any, between obeying the Law of Moses and obeying Christ?

5)  Can you recall a time when you experienced the tension between Grace and Law?  What was that like?  Did you find some resolution? 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Take Home Guide for Week Eight: Christ Our Passover

Jesus Story Year,
Story Eight: Christ our Passover

Sunday Readings:
Exodus 12:1-14
Psalm 136: 1-4, 10-15, 26
1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Luke 22:7, 14-20

Further Reading and Meditation:
Exodus 1-15
2 Chronicles 30
Psalm 106
Matthew 26
Acts 7:18-36
Hebrews 11:23-29

Discussion Questions:
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family. Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Do you know the story of Moses’ life leading up to the Exodus (Exodus 1-15)? What are some of the most memorable parts of his story?

2) What part of the Exodus story do you find the most disturbing? What part do you find the most meaningful?

3) Have you ever been to a Passover meal? If you have, could you describe that experience? What most stuck out at you?

4) In what ways do you see Christ in the Passover story?

5) What does it mean to you when we say at Communion “Alleluia, Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast, alleluia.”

6) In Passover, God sets his people free. What has God in Christ set you free from?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Take Home Guide for Week Seven: Jesus and Joseph

Take Home Guide

Jesus Story Year,
Story Seven: Christ and Joseph

Sunday Readings:
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
Acts 7:8b-15
Matthew 26:14-35

Further Reading and Meditation:
Genesis 37-50
Exodus 13:18-19, Joshua 24:31-32
Deuteronomy 33
Psalm 81
Hebrews 11:21-22

Discussion Questions:
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family. Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Do you know the story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50)?  What is the most memorable part of his story?

2)  When Joseph confronted his brothers about their wickedness, he said “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)  Have you ever been in a situation in which someone did something evil to you, but which resulted in something good for you or others?

3) Have you ever done something wrong but something good came out of it?

4) Have you betrayed someone, or been betrayed by someone?  Would you be willing to talk about that with your group?

5) Christ knew that Judas would betray him (John 6:64), and this betrayal was part of God’s plan (Luke 22:22).  Does that get Judas off the hook for what he did?

6)  Does the fact that Christ was betrayed by those closest to him make him more accessible to you?  What does this do to your understanding of his love for you?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Christ and Leah: Take Home Guide

Jesus Story Year,
Story Six: The Stone the Builders Rejected (Christ and Leah)

Sunday Readings:
Genesis 29:15-35
Psalm 68:1-6
Acts 4:5-12
Matthew 21:33-46

Further Reading and Meditation:
Genesis 27-35
1 Samuel 16:1-13
Hosea 1-3
Mark 8:27-38
1 Peter 2:4-12


Discussion Questions:
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family. Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1)  Have you ever rejected something and then later wish you hadn’t? 
2)  When have you been rejected (in a relationship, for a job, etc)?  What was that like?
3)  With whom do you most identify in the lesson from Genesis, Rachel, Leah, Jacob or Laban?  Why?
4)  If you had lived in the time of Jesus, would you have accepted him as the Messiah, or would you have rejected him?  What would you have thought?
5)  What does it mean to you that Christ was rejected?  Does that help you identify with him?  Does that help him identify with you?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Christ, Abraham, and Isaac: Take Home Guide

Jesus Story Year, 
Story Five: Christ, Abraham, and Isaac

Sunday Readings:
Genesis 22:1-19
Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18
Hebrews 11:8-12, 17-19
John 3:16-18

Further Reading and Meditation:
Genesis 18-26
Matthew 27:33-54
Romans 8
1 John 4


Discussion Questions:
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family. Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1)  Has anyone ever given something up for you?  What was it?  How did it make you feel?

2) Have you ever seen a relationship (yours or someone else’s) fall apart because of God, or religion, or another spiritual reason?  Did that seem like the right thing to you?

3) Have you ever chosen to give something up for God?  How did that work out?

4) Do you feel that God has ever asked you to give something up?  What was it?  Has God ever asked you to give up something good?

5) What has God given up for you?  What difference does that make in your life? 

6)  Is it easier to give something up for God, or to accept what he has given up for you?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Abraham and Christ: Story Four Discussion Guide

Story Four: Abraham and Sarah

Genesis 12:1-9
Psalm 33:1-12
Romans 4:13-5:2
John 8:51-59

Further Reading and Meditation
Genesis 12-18
Romans 4:1-12
Galatians 3:1-29
Hebrews 7:1-9
Hebrews 11:8-19


Discussion Questions:


Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family. Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.



1) Have you ever had to leave a familiar place, or a familiar way of living or believing? What was that experience like? Where was God in that experience?

2) How has God called you to embark on a journey with Him this year? Where are you in that journey?

3) Hebrews 11:8–9 says, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” How comfortable are you with the idea of trusting God when the future is uncertain?

4) How conscious are you of God’s steadfast love for you in Christ?

5) Do you think God chose Abraham because of Abraham’s faith, or do you think Abraham had faith because of God’s promise to him?

6) How can your family be a blessing to the neighborhood and community you are in? How can our congregation be a blessing in our community and in the world?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Take Home Guide for Week Three

Story Three: Christ and Noah

Sunday Readings:
Genesis 6:9-14, 6:22-7:4, 7:24, 8:13-22
Psalm 46
1 Peter 3:18-22
Matthew 24:36-44

Further Reading and Meditation:
Genesis 6-9
Genesis 11:1-9
Ezekiel 14:12-23
Matthew 7:24-29
Matthew 24
Hebrews 11:6-7
Revelation 8-9, 11:15-19


Discussion Questions:
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family. Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) If God came to you and told you to build an ark here in Nashville, what would you say? What would you say to a friend who told you God had told them to do this?

2) How comfortable are you with the idea that God has wrath? Is that something that you believe, or don’t, or ignore? Would you rather think of God as never having wrath?

3) Do you think the story of Noah and the Ark is literally true? How important is that to your understanding of the Bible and of your faith?

4) When you do something wrong, does God’s wrath burn against you? Does he punish you for your sins? Should he punish you? Should he punish other people?

5) How important is your Baptism to your faith today? What was your baptism like?

6) What has Christ saved you from? What does he save you from? What will Christ save you from?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Take Home Guide for Week Two


Story Two: Christ and Adam

Sunday Readings:
Genesis 3:1-24
Psalm 32
Romans 5:12-19
Matthew 4:1-11


Further Reading and Meditation:

Psalm 25
Psalm 51
Job 31
Hebrews 10
1 John 2
1 Corinthians 15
Romans 5


Discussion Questions:
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family. Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) In the story of the Fall (Genesis 3), who is most at fault in your opinion? Adam, Eve, the Snake, God? Why?

2) In what way is Adam like Christ, and Christ like Adam? In what ways are they different?

3) Is it fair that we are damaged by Adam’s sin? Is it fair that we are held responsible for Adam’s sin? Is it fair that Christ’s redemption is available to everyone?

4) If all the bad things in the world come from what Adam and Eve did, does that explain evil for you? Are you intellectually satisfied with that answer? Emotionally satisfied?

5) If Christ is the new Adam, what difference does that make in your understanding of sin and evil? Of the Bible? Of yourself?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Take Home Guide for Week One

Story One: Christ at Creation

Sunday Readings:
Genesis 1:1-2:4
Psalm 136:1-9, 25-26
Colossians 1:13-20
John 1:1-5

Further Reading and Meditation:
Job 38
Psalm 65
Psalm 104
Isaiah 11:1-10
Isaiah 65:17-25
Mark 4:37-41
Revelation 21

Discussion Questions:
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family. Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Have you ever thought about Christ’s role in creation before? Does his role feel comforting to you, or challenging, or scary, or awe-inspiring?

2) What does it mean to you when you say on Sundays “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made?” (the Nicene Creed)

3) Christ made the world. What difference does that make to the way you think about your possessions? What differenced does it make to the way you think about caring for the environment? What difference does it make to the way you think about caring for your body?

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 16th: Creation


This Sunday is the 5th anniversary of public worship with Church of the Redeemer. There will be a lunch right after the 10:30 service. It is the beginning of Sunday School for all ages. And it is the beginning of the Jesus Story Year.

The story this Sunday will be Creation. The readings are:

Genesis 1:1-2:4
Psalm 136:1-9, 25-26
Colossians 1:13-20
John 1:1-5

This Sunday, our kids will be hearing the story in J.A.M. (Jesus and Me, formerly Children's Worship) during the 9 am service. Just bring them into church, and they will be dismissed to JAM and then brought back. Children's Sunday School at 10:30 am follows our usual curriculum.

Middle School and High School students are invited to come to the Youth Room at 10:30 for their own gathering, led by Ian Kern. The youth will be focusing on the story each Sunday.

Adults have two Sunday School options, both of which are tied to the Jesus Story Year. Patrick Carr is teaching on the Old Testament story. Kenny Benge will be teaching the Psalm.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Readings for August 9th

On August 9th, we will introduce the Jesus Story Year. Here are the readings we will use in worship on that day.

Story Zero: Telling the Story: 8/9

Isaiah 42:5-10a
Psalm 116
Revelation, 22:12-17
Luke 24:13-35

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Introducing the Jesus Story Year: August 9th

Fr. Thomas here.

I am so excited about the beginning of the Jesus Story Year. On August 9th, I will officially introduce the concept at both Sunday morning services. I hope that you will be there at Redeemer, 9 am or 10:30 am, on that day.