Moms are pretty special. No one, except a mother, knows the intimacy of carrying another human being inside their body along with all the pains and joys of that unique relationship.
When I think of Mother’s Day I think about the love, and the hugs, and the kisses that are so special between a child and their mother. I am also reminded of the intense sadness that is felt by Mother’s and children when relationships are strained, broken, or lost. Either way, Mother’s Day brings out a variety of emotions for everyone.
Hardships in life for Mother’s and everyone else take an emotional, physical, and spiritual toll on us. How we respond to those hardships helps determine whether we become bitter in life, or better. Which are you? Are you able to reflect the joy of the Lord and draw people to Christ, or are you so consumed in your despair that your light isn’t able to shine. This Sunday we will look at a woman named Naomi, and how she struggled through some hardships in her life. We will also look at the comforting words of Jesus who shows us where the source of our joy should come from.
Come join us this Sunday as we celebrate Mother’s and learn where true and lasting joy comes from.
STEPS TO PREPARE
PRAY FOR THE SERVICES AND FOR YOURSELF
AND ME AND THE OTHER TEACHERS.
PRAYERFULLY READ THE SCRIPTURES
AND CONSIDER THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.
MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND A PREACHING SERVICE AND A SMALL GROUP.
INVITE SOMEONE TO COME WITH YOU.
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY: SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
- Share a story of how your Mother, or Mother like figure, impacted your life in a positive way.
Ruth 1:1-5: In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there. Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
Ruth 1: 19-21: 19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
- Naomi experienced great loss in a foreign land and became bitter. What else can make you or others bitter over time?
- What brings you joy in life?
John 15:9-17: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.
- Where does Jesus say our Joy comes from?
Galatians 5: 22-26: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
- How important is Joy for the life and witness of a Christian?
- How can we pray for you?