Discussion Questions for Hungering and Thirsting for God

Trinity UMC Discussion Questions based on the Sermon for 2021 0221

  1. What does Ash Wednesday call us to do?

Example: Enter into a time of remembering Jesus, and what Jesus did for us; the sacrifices he made on our behalf and his willingness to risk everything to love us

  1. What is the symbolism of making ash for Ash Wednesday?

Example: Using the palms from last year’s Palm Sunday service that have been burned symbolizing remembrance, adding anointing oil that includes frankincense symbolizing the healing Christ offered, and adding water from the Jordan River symbolizing our baptism

  1. What is the symbolism of using ash to make the sign of the cross on your forehead for Ash Wednesday?

Example: “From dust you came, to dust you shall return, but thanks be to God for Jesus Christ.”

  1. What does the number 40 represent in Scripture?

Example: The number “forty” when found in the scriptures always refers to a time of a new beginning. It refers to a time of taking the old, or what had been in existence before, and moving through something that allowed it to become new again.

  1. How long does Lent last?

Example: Lent is a forty-day season of contemplation. The forty-days does not include Sundays.

  1. What is it we are to do in Lent?

Example: The purpose of giving something up is about creating space: to create a deeper focus on our faith and to create more time with God.  It is to spend time focusing on Jesus in order to create a closer relationship with Him.  It is about taking time to make sure the relationship is whole and sound, even to ask forgiveness for the things we’ve done that have created separation. Lent is a quiet season, contemplative, and focused.

  1. What is the purpose of Lent?

Example: The purpose of Lent is to deepen our faith, to be “blessed” as we kneel before our Creator. Lent is a time to search ourselves, so that we can become something new.

  1. Why should you not look dismal, disfiguring your face to show others you are fasting?

Example: People who do this to be observed fasting by others have received their reward.

  1. How should you fast?

Example: When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Heavenly Father; and your Heavenly Father will reward you.

  1. What does this mean: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” — Matthew 5:6