Annie Dillard on Worship

crash helmet.jpg

This past weekend at Eastbrook, I preached about worship in a message entitled “Worship in the Beauty of Holiness.” Whenever I think about worship, I always remember this striking quotation from Annie Dillard in her marvelous book, Teaching a Stone to Talk.

On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews.

– Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk, 58.

Word and Deed (discussion questions)

appearing-series-gfx_app-squareHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Word and Deed,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is part of our series, “Appearing.” The text for this week is Luke 4:31-44.

Discussion Questions:

  1. As we continue our “Appearing” series on Jesus’ beginnings in ministry, this week we will study Luke 4:31-44. Begin your time asking God to speak to you from His Word, and then read that passage aloud.
  2. What do the crowds notice about Jesus’ teaching according to Luke 4:31-32?
  3. What do you think it means for someone to speak with authority? How would this apply to Jesus?
  4. Next, in 4:33-37, Jesus works a miracle on the Sabbath as fulfillment of His earlier quotation of Isaiah 61 (Luke 4:18-19). What does this miraculous deliverance tell you about Jesus’ identity and authority?
  5. If you were there in the crowd for this event, how would you have responded?
  6. Jesus’ healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (4:38-39) leads us into another section of Jesus healing and delivering many people (4:40-41). What do you notice about Jesus in this section?
  7. Why does Jesus decide to leave the area where so many good things are happening according to 4:42-44? Why do you think this is important?
  8. What is one way God is calling you into a deeper life with Him through this study? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone.


Daily Reading Plan

To encourage us together in our growth with God, we are arranging a weekday reading plan through this entire series with the Gospel of Luke. As you read each day, ask God to speak to you from His word.

Follow along with the reading plan below, through the Eastbrook app, or on social media.

Dec. 19     Luke 4:31-37; Matt. 4:13-16
Dec. 20    Luke 4:38-41; Mark 1:29-34
Dec. 21    Matthew 8:14-17; Isaiah 53:1-6
Dec. 22    Luke 4:42-44; Mark 1:35-39
Dec. 23    Matthew 4:23-25