Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator

Psalm 103

Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides.  When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group

1  Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

2  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

3  who forgives all your iniquity, who heals are your diseases,

4  who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with mercy and compassion,

5  who satisfies you with good as long as you live, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6  The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.

7  He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.

8  The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy.

9  He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger for ever.

10  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

11  For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward those who fear him;

12  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

13  As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him.

14  For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

15  As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;

16  for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.

17  But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,

18  to those who keep his covenant, and remember to do his commandments.

19  The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

20  Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word!

21  Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!

22  Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

Israel Moves to Egypt

Genesis 46-47:12

1.       Circumstances force Jacob to find work in another country (Egypt).  How does Jacob prioritize work, residence, and family?  What priorities have determined moving your family in the past?  What would it take to move your family from your present home?

2.       As Israel vacates the Promised Land, what does Israel leave behind in the land of Canaan?  Who will live in the land of Canaan now?  Israel will not return to Canaan for more than four centuries.  How will they prove their claim?

3.       Lack of economic opportunity (famine) forces Israel into Egypt.  How has immigration affected your ancestors?  What are some of the issues involving immigration reform?  What are your beliefs about immigration?

4.       How is Joseph’s position advantageous for his family?  What does Pharaoh offer Israel?  What does Jacob offer Pharaoh?  How does a Patriarch “bless” a superior?  Bless God?

Prayer Partners

Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.