Smyth and Helwys Uniform Series Lesson Outline for April 20, 2014
The Third Day Hosea 6: 1-3; Luke 24: 1-12
Focal Outline: Hosea 6: 1-3 He will bind us up
Luke 24: 1-8 He is not here
Luke 24: 9-12 They told all this
Summary Statements: (To help you get a handle on the lesson truths.)
1. We envision our future as we hope it will turn out. We may feel that God has not heard our prayers!
2. Distance with God is an occasional issue for any Christian. Even when God seems distant, God is still there.
3. Each Easter is a new opportunity to be surprised by God’s work in our world.
4. The surprise of Easter delivers power to our lives! God’s kingdom ever renews and always triumphs.
Questions for Thought: (To help you think of some questions to challenge with a “So What?”)
1. How do my assumptions and expectations leave God less room to work in my life?
2. When have I yearned for God to feel closer, only to later see what God had been doing all along?
3. What are some of the surprises that God has delivered to our world? To my own life?
4. What is the power that Easter holds, if I open myself and let God do what God wants to do?
Points to Ponder
[NOTE: These suggestions are to help your class be more interactive and discussion oriented. Using 3-5 different ideas will enhance your preferred teaching style and involve class participants. Build excitement and intimacy in your learners!]
Easter is here. He has arisen! On this Sunday, we will have the privilege once again to welcome our congregation to worship. We will have waiting for them an order of service that, no doubt, brings great energy and celebration. The music will take on an added level of power. The gathered people will even bring an elevated sense of urgency and joy. HE is alive! He is ALIVE! That is the message. Then, and now, God cannot be predicted and cannot always be anticipated. Surprise is one element that a sovereign God uses.
In the comfort and familiarity of our gospel, we catch ourselves being surprised. Surprised, that is, that the first-century Christians were so…surprised. When we approach Easter with the blasé of “Well, of course Jesus rose again…” we miss out on the wonder! Easter is victory. Easter is hope. Easter is renewal. Easter is surprise! I hope we’ll each explore how we can turn God loose, on this holiest of days, to work wonder!
First century Christians were hurting when Easter morning arrived. Take yourself back in time and try to empathize. Easter sunrise arrived not as gift but as heartbreak. The agony of the Cross had conceded defeat at the Tomb. You will awake on Easter and search the closet for your prettiest dress or most colorful tie. On that first Easter, the Disciples were searching for God. Thanks be to a God who surprises! He is alive!!
Introductory Thoughts (5-15 minutes – These are for discussion to introduce this week’s Lesson Ideas.)
1. If you had been alive in Jesus’ time, and had spent time with Him, what would you make of the women’s message that the tomb was found empty? How do you think you would have reacted? Why? Why do you think the women were the first at the tomb, the first to experience the Resurrection?
2. What is the power of Easter, for you? Talk this over in your group. We love Easter. We love the idea of Easter. But, what are the qualities of this observance that make Easter a powerful day?
3. What types of situations cause you to be skeptical? Discuss this with your group, exploring the kinds of things each tend to approach cautiously. Why does our age seem to be such a time of skepticism?
4. Take a look at “Beginning the Lesson” on p114 of your Uniform Teaching Guide. Yes, how would that day have felt for you?
5. What is your favorite Easter memory? Have some fun sharing these. (Perhaps, ahead of time, invite class members to bring some old photo’s of Easters gone by!)
Studying & Discussing the Passage (20-25 minutes – See Brian Harbour’s Commentary for added insights and explanations.)
1. Share an overview of the Lesson from “Locating the Text” (Teaching Guide ) and then examine the Focal Passage using a variety of teaching methods…
Hosea 6: 1-3 He will bind us up
In v1, what is Hosea’s call? (return) What should they return from? What is ahead for a repentant people in v2? What should the people “know” in v3? What assurance does Hosea rest on?
Luke 24: 1-8 He is not here
In v1-2, what had they come to do? What were their expectations? In v3-4, what added to their despair? In v5-7, what did the messengers remind them about? In v8, what did the women have to draw upon? (His words)
Luke 24: 9-12 They told all this
In v9, how did they react? (they went and shared the news) What do v10-11 tell us about the power of expectations? (disciples did not believe the women!) In v12, what do we learn from Peter? In what ways did he break away from the majority here?
2. On p126 (lrge. print) our lesson author says, “Even though we know the story, Easter morning is still full of surprises.” Read on in this paragraph. What are some of the ways in which Easter morning can still be full of surprise for Christians? What will God need us to do in order for this to be a time of surprise?
3. How does Mk 16: 12-14 relate to this passage? How about Jn 20: 11-18?
4. On p128 our lesson author says “Luke tells us that God entrusted the most important news of our faith story to this group of women.” Then, we are asked this—what can this teach us about the value of stories we are quick to ignore? How about people we are quick to ignore?
5. In the Uniform Commentary, Brian Harbour will ask early on (p79) whether Hosea’s phrase “on the third day” meant what we want it to mean? On p81, we explore the women’s expectations and then surprise. Notice what the word “terrified” here means. (p81) How did Peter’s openness give him unique opportunities? (p82)
Applying the Lesson (10-20 minutes – Choose one or two questions to encourage action plans for the coming week!)
Discuss any of the following questions…
1. a. How are your prospects for the days ahead? Easter dawns under darkness, but opens light upon us!
b. Pray with God, slowing down and opening up to the surprise that God wants to deliver on Easter.
2. In what ways might God need a new level of trust and openness from you specifically. How may your movement toward God end up allowing you to be included in what God is working on even now?
3. See “Applying the Lesson” on p118 in the Uniform Teaching Guide. How can renewal be ours today?
People go where they know they’ve been prepared for and are cared for!
Bo Prosser, series editor, is the Coordinator for Missional Congregations at CBF in Atlanta.
Charles Qualls, session writer, is Associate Pastor at Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Copyright SS Helps 2014 All references to Smyth and Helwys literature are used by permission of the Publisher.
All materials used are available through Smyth & Helwys Publishing,www.helwys.com, 800-747-3016.
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