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Welcome to Connect Group for 2023! We are gathering together to engage with God, with the bible, and with one another.

In pairs (or as a whole group), share:

  • What brought you into this group originally?

  • What brings you here now for 2023?

Spend some time discussing together as a group.

  • What are your collective expectations?

  • What do you all agree to?

  • What are your hopes for the year ahead as a group?

In this bible study, we're going to explore the whole story of God's people throughout the bible. Read the following passages out loud, and notice what common threads continue through them all.

  • The first people of God were Abraham's family. Read his first Covenant [1] to them in Genesis 17:3-8

  • After God rescued his people from slavery in Egypt through Moses, he reinstated his promises: Exodus 19:4-6

  • When God's people rejected him as their king, he continued to reiterate his faithfulness: 1 Samuel 12:22

  • God's people continued to rebel against him, and he sent them into exile. Yet even then, read what he said to them in Isaiah 43:19-21 and Hosea 2:23

  • After Jesus came and brought salvation to Israel as well as to the rest of humanity, read how God sees his New Covenant people in Ephesians 2:19-22 and 1 Peter 2:9-10

  • In light of our shared identity, we are called to a new way of relating to one another. Read Colossians 3:12-17

  • What did you discover? What common threads have always been part of God's relationship with His people? What has changed or transformed in the New Covenant relationship we have with God through Jesus?

  • What do these verses show us about what God values? How does God choose to relate to us?

  • Re-examine Colossians 3:12-17. How are these instructions the outworking of God's values for his people?

  • Think practically - how do we as a Connect Group obey these instructions?

Spend a time in personal reflection

  • Do you feel you need to focus on one of these instructions in particular this year?

  • How will you engage more deeply with being a Connect Group member this year? You could consider these challenges:

    • I will offer more practical help and care to my fellow group members

    • I will be more honest and vulnerable in sharing my life with others

    • I will be more willing to ask for support, advice, or practical help

    • I will commit to pray for my fellow group members every week

    • I will ask my questions during bible study, even the 'stupid questions'

    • I will show up more often than I did last year

    • ...etc.

  • Spend some time in prayer, making your new commitment to God right now.

[1] N.T. Wright gives a helpful definition on the biblical idea of the 'Covenant' which was first given to Abraham and continued to be developed over the centuries that followed:

At the heart of Jewish belief is the conviction that the one God, YHWH, who had made the whole world, had called Abraham and his family to belong to him in a special way. The promises God made to Abraham and his family, and the requirements that were laid on them as a result, came to be seen in terms either of the agreement that a king would make with a subject people, or of the marriage bond between husband and wife. One regular way of describing this relationship was ‘covenant’, which can thus include both promise and law. The covenant was renewed at Mount Sinai with the giving of the Torah; in Deuteronomy before the entry to the Promised Land; and, in a more focused way, with David (e.g. Psalm 89). Jeremiah 31 promised that after the punishment of exile God would make a ‘new covenant’ with his people, forgiving them and binding them to him more intimately. Jesus believed that this was coming true through his kingdom-proclamation and his death and resurrection. The early Christians developed these ideas in various ways, believing that in Jesus the promises had at last been fulfilled.


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