Leading Question: In Genesis 2:8, we read that Adam and Eve “heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” What does God sound like when he walks, and why is he walking in the garden?
Scripture Focus: Genesis 1-3; Matthew 1:18-23, 28:18-20; John 1:14-18, 3:16, 14:1-3
The Big Idea: Before we talk about our mission to others, it’s important to realize that our God wants to be with us!
- Before we begin a whole quarter talking about mission, perhaps it’s important to provide a general definition of some key words. What do each of these words mean?
- How would you respond to someone who said, “God in the Old Testament seems interested in reaching Abraham’s descendants, but he doesn’t seem very interested in ‘mission’ to other peoples of the world!”
- When we are introduced to God in the opening chapters of Genesis, what actions of God most clearly indicate his desire for connection and relationship with humans?
- Why do you think God wants to be with humans? Doesn’t it seem like a bit of a mismatch that the Creator of the universe longs to be with humans?
- In John 1:14, we read that “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” In Matthew 1:18-23, an angel tells Joseph that Jesus would be the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy about the birth of Immanuel, which means “God with us.”
- Why was it so important for God to come to us, in human form?
- Couldn’t God have revealed his character and his love in some other way? Wouldn’t miracles, visions, dreams, the words of inspired prophets have been enough?
- In John 14:1-3, Jesus promises an eternity with him in the Father’s house. How literally should we take these words? Will we really be sharing a residence with God? If so, imagine some of the household traditions you would expect to develop? What would be the largest room in the Father’s house?
- In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus promises to be with us always. How has this promise been fulfilled in your life?
- What message is most needed today: the message that God is powerful, exalted, and worthy of our worship, or that God is present, accessible, and desires a relationship with us?