Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator

Psalm 23

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

1  The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;

2  He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;

3  He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.

6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

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.

The Last Years of the Patriarchs

Genesis 49:28 - 50:26

1.       After blessing each of his sons, Jacob says, “I am to be gathered to my people” and requests to be physically buried among his ancestors.  Why might location be a priority for Jacob’s burial?  How is burial location a priority for your family’s ancestors?  How is location a priority for your own burial?

2.       Both Jacob and Joseph make requests at the end of their lives.  What end-of-life issues have you faced in your family?  What end-of-life arrangements have you made for you and your spouse?

3.       Of what customs are you aware for commemorating the dead?  How did your parents commemorate the dead?  How does your family commemorate the dead?

4.       Upon the death of Jacob, sibling fears and divisions resurface.  How does Joseph resolve them?  How probable is it that sibling divisions might resurface upon the death of one of your parents?  How might they be anticipated and resolved?

5.       Genesis 50:17 is the first biblical occurrence of the word “Forgive.”  What is the significance of its occurrence?  How is it requested?  How is it responded to?

6.       How would Joseph’s last words be a consolation to Israel after his death? How would Joseph’s words be a consolation at the beginning of Exodus?

Prayer Partners

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