This Study Guide is from The Rev. Adam Hamilton’s Course in The Walk: Five Essential Practices of Christian Life.
There are no hard and fast rules. You can do this at your own speed. Classes are on Wednesdays at 7:00pm with Rev Card. If neither of these times is convenient, you can follow along online at facebook.com/pumcnh, our website peterboroughumc.org, or on Pray Act Pray Again. We have a private Facebook Group you may request to join as well.
This information is shared for your enrichment.
The Walk: Five Essential Practices of Christian Life
Lesson 3: Serve: Here I Am Lord
Opening Directions and Questions to Consider
- We like to maintain confidentiality so if you hear something you might like to share, please ask the person who has shared for permission.
- This is a new format—so we will venture out into new territory.
Week 3: Session Goals
Through conversation, activities, and reflection, participants will:
- Discover the relationship between worship and service.
- Explore ways to love and serve God.
- Commit to serving God through acts of kindness to others.
Preparation for the Study
(If you have insights while reading, jot down anything you might want to discuss. If there is anything from the last two classes, let us know. You can also send ideas to me ahead of time.)
- If you get to read the text before the session—that is helpful, however we should be able to show the class the video when we do our Zoom call. Hamilton does cover most of the text in his videos.
- We may have new people joining, if that is true, we will ask everyone introduce themselves with a sentence or two and say where you live.
- Zoom calls usually have squares with people’s faces in them. You have to put it on video and sound to be able to participate. You can also call in if you have not computer.
(*Unfortunately this is not the full video)
From Last Session
- Last week we talked about listening and paying attention to the way God speaks to us through the Scriptures and other people. Do you have any insights you would like to share?
- Have you found any new ways to deepen your ability to listen and pay attention?
This session explores how we can serve:
The word Hamilton wants us to examine tonight is Latreuo.
Prayer: Would someone lead us in this prayer?
Holy and Loving God, thank you for inviting us to draw closer to you. Thank you for each person in this group. Be with us as we answer your call to love our neighbor and serve those in need. In the name of your son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Learning Together Video, Study, and Discussion
After we watch the video, these are the question we will contemplate together.
- In what ways is the practice of service important, even vital as we walk with Christ?
- How does our service not only impact others, but shape your own heart and life?
- Hamilton makes the point that God usually does not send angels. He says God sends humans to help others and to make a difference.
- Where has God sent you to be an agent of love?
- Where have you been served through someone else?
- What opportunities are there around you every day to serve someone?
- What opportunities to serve can you recall from the past couple of days? (This is definitely a time filled with opportunities.
- Why is it important to be attentive and open to interruptions as opportunities to serve?
- How can you open yourself more to such opportunities?
Bible Study and Discussion—Romans 12.1-2
In Chapter 3 of THE WALK, Hamilton highlights the word latreuo.
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon:
1) to serve for hire
2) to serve, minister to, either to the gods or men and used alike of slaves and freemen
2a) in the NT, to render religious service or homage, to worship
2b) to perform sacred services, to offer gifts, to worship God in the observance of the rites instituted for his worship
2b1) of priests, to officiate, to discharge the sacred office (see page 67 THE WALK)
Part of Speech: verb
Relation: from latris (a hired menial)
- What acts of worship are most meaningful for you?
- How is an act of worship to God and act of service to God??
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. 2 Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.
Notice Paul’s instruction “to present your bodies as a living sacrifice.”
- In biblical times the priests would sacrifice animals seeking reconciliation. Jesus put a stop to that when he went to the cross, but even in the Hebrew Scriptures we hear God telling the people he is tried of their sacrifices.
- Have you ever felty the need to offer something as a sacrifice?
- What word does Paul use to describe our “living sacrifice?”
- Verse 2 offers a clue to what God means by a living “sacrifice.”
- What do you think of Hamilton’s idea that we are being asked
- Not to follow the ways of the world
- and to give up our self-centered desires to live according to God’s desires for us?
Hamilton Says “we may interpret Paul’s phrase about being ‘transformed by the renewing of (our) minds’ to mean an ongoing process. Through this process we ‘can figure out what it the will of God’ (NRSV). The practice of he spiritual disciplines we are learning about through the study of THE WALK will help us in this process of figuring out and discerning.
Book Study and Discussion
Chapter 3: Love God
One of the legal experts heard their dispute and saw how well Jesus answered them. He came over and asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
29 Jesus replied, “The most important one is Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord, 30 and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength. 31 The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.”
- What did Jesus say are the two most important commandments?
- What are the key words in the Scripture passage?
Passages you may want to read:
- What key phrases in each of these Scripture passages help us to understand what it means to love God?
- At the end of the chapter (p. 73) Hamilton writes; “this love is not a feeling but a way of living and being.” What does that mean to you?
Optional Exercises If Time
- When have you stopped your work to pay attention to an interruption?
- How did this interruption provide an opportunity for you to show kindness to someone in the name of Christ?
- How did responding to this interruption draw you closer to God?
- What will you do going forward to help you be more open to responding to divine interruptions?
The daily challenge for this week:
“If we are serious about walking with Christ, we’ll cultivate the daily practice of serving God by serving others.”
Can we commit to doing these things daily?
- 5 times of prayer
- 5 Scripture verses
- 5 acts of kindness
Would someone volunteer either to read the prayer at the end of the book on page 84, or pray in their own words?