Part 1: In a changing world we trust in the providence of an omnipotent God
Read 1 Samuel 2: 1-10 and Psalm 113
It is fascinating to read our key reading for this week — Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel — alongside Psalm 113. The two texts closely echo one another thematically and structurally.
Looking at the two passages side by side what are the similarities? What are the differences? Does reading one give you insights into the other?
Read Acts 16: 22-34
Mind-altering, body-altering, life-altering… singing praises to God affects the chemistry and mood in our minds, bodies and lives. This is vividly depicted here in this reading where Paul and Silas are belting out the tunes and a literal earthquake comes crashing through!
Often we sing to keep our spirits up, to motivate and encourage ourselves to keep going with a task. Sung worship can serve a dual purpose: offering praise to God while also inspiring us to face the world and the challenges we meet. Are there particular songs that empower and inspire you to go out and serve God?
Read Acts 12: 1-17
Peter and Rhoda are both gobsmacked by what has just happened, but both of them carry on: Peter following the angel and Rhoda running to tell the others. It takes a while for the event to fully sink in — Peter can’t quite believe it at first and Rhoda is so overwhelmed she forgets to open the door and let him in — but that doesn’t stop them engaging in the new reality.
What can we learn from how Peter and Rhoda respond to extraordinary circumstances?