Comfort My People

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

 

For use: February 14 – 20

Texts: Isaiah 40:1, 2; Isaiah 40:3–8; Isaiah 40:9–11; Isaiah 40:12–31

 

Not all heroes wear capes or take the spotlight.

All over the globe, healthcare workers tirelessly ensure that patients are safely tended to, even when it means putting their own safety on the line. But, who is taking care of our frontline employees?

Working behind the scenes are environmental services and sanitation workers like Dennis Eaton, who are essential cogs in the complicated but well-maintained machine keeping our hospitals and medical offices up-and-running. WHAS11 reports that Eaton and his colleagues’ detailed work is “the reason healthcare workers have a safe space to treat their patients. The reason patients have a clean and comfortable room.”

Nevertheless, many of them embark on their daily heroic quests as unsung heroes, sometimes even looked upon with derision. Although it may be difficult to believe that people who devote their lives to saving others are often treated with a lack of recognition, respect and gratitude, how much more appalling it should be that throughout history the Son of God has been mocked and ridiculed.

For instance, as we see in the book of Isaiah, Judah rebelled against God despite experiencing the miracles God provided time and again to save them from the hands of their enemies. Eventually, due to their willful disobedience, the Lord let them follow their path into defeat by the Assyrians. All the while, the Deliverer worked behind the scenes on a plan to save the Judeans who would come to recognize their need for deliverance, and as a result cast aside their false ideas and idols.

In our Scripture focus this week, we are shown that sin, like COVID-19, is a virus, and when we reject spiritual cleanliness, we put ourselves and those around us at greater risk of sin’s consequences. Fortunately, despite our ignorance, stubbornness, and weaknesses, God is always working in the background to cleanse us of our plague while offering divine comfort—hope for the future. But, we need to be willing to listen to, accept, and embrace this Hero’s offer.


For Reflection

Connecting: Have you or someone you know contracted a preventable life-debilitating disease? How has that condition impacted the way you look at preventative measures? Prepare to succinctly share your thoughts over your small group’s online connections.

SharingIsaiah 40:12-31 details God’s mercy and power. But which one is most important in your relationship with God?

  1. Mercy, because it comes with forgiveness and comfort
  2. Mercy, because God increases the strength of the weary and power of the weak
  3. Power, because God’s glory is permanent
  4. Power, because God supersedes all human ability and is beyond compare
  5. God cannot be one without the other
  6. Other:

Applying: Identify a virus in your life that could use some heavy-duty cleansing. Are you making room for it to be scrubbed clean by the Spirit, or are you continuing day-to-day rituals, waiting for it to catch up to you? Jot down a prayer of repentance, supplication and gratitude, asking the Lord to wash away the virus. Place the prayer where you can see it throughout the week.

Valuing: Who in your life is an unsung hero, and what can you do to show your gratitude? Through whatever safe way you are meeting, let that person know you appreciate them.

~ Stefani Leeper

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