Welcome Home Week 2: Craving A Fresh Start
weekend in review
This week Gene continues look at the story of the Prodigal Son.
Begin with some conversation, checking in on how people are doing. You can talk about whatever you’d like, but here is a potential question to get the conversation going.
Imagining there is no pandemic, if you were to “run away” to another country today, where would you choose to go and why?
Read Luke 15:17. Have you ever had a what-am-I-doing-here defining moment that shook you? What happened next?
Gene said that whenever you talk to people who have found their way home to God, they will almost always be able to go back and tell you about a time when pain, guilt, boredom, failure, emptiness, addiction, defeat, divorce, loss, fear, grief, or frustration drove them into a defining experience. And they just came to their senses. Do you have such a story?
In what ways are all of us like the prodigal son? Have you ever considered yourself this way? Why or why not?
Read Luke 15:18-19. There are two essential things the prodigal son discovered that all of us need to learn if we’re ever going to find our way back home to our heavenly father. First, coming home begins with wanting to leave where you are. We often fear or have difficulty ending something. Why do you think that is?
The second thing the prodigal son discovered was that while coming home BEGINS with wanting to leave where you are, it CONTINUES with taking a step toward God. Rather than wallowing in the chains of guilt and regret, take a faith step toward the future, saying, “Jesus, I’m coming home.” Were you ever at a place in your life where you had drifted from God and were ready to come home?
Gene described the Jewish Kezazah ceremony, explaining that the father sprinted toward his son to get to him before the villagers could take over and crush his heart with shame. How does grace affect us, versus humiliation, especially when we already know we’ve been in the wrong?
Read Luke 15:20-32. What do you like about the way the father handled this family crisis? What might he have done badly instead? What would have been the likely results?
What does this parable tell us about the nature of God? About God’s attitude toward you and me?
Is there something you need to leave behind this year? Gene’s examples were: you resign something, you end something, you get rid of some stuff, you delete some phone numbers, you get some accountability software, you move out of a non-God-honoring setting or relationship, you slam the door on the past and take a faith step toward the future, saying “Jesus, I’m coming home.”
What do you personally need for a fresh start this year?
WRAP UP & PRAYER
Share prayer requests and spend time praying for each other.
Gene asked us, “What if we humbled ourselves, came to our senses, and took a step toward God?” And “You see, the heart of the problem in our land is a problem of the heart. And only God can heal and remake us from the inside out”. Take time as a group pray for our country.
Prayer: God, thank you for being a father who runs to us, we are grateful to you for how much patience and grace you have given our lives. We lift up our requests, we humble ourselves and ask you to heal us from the inside out.