1. Many “superheroes” (Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, etc.) have rebounded and come back to fight another day because they have a place of solitude to refocus and renew.
- Describe your place of solitude (where you go to get away to refocus).
- If you don’t have a place for solitude, but you could create it, describe what it would look like, how it would be stocked, and where it would be.
Mark 1:1 announces Jesus’ public ministry of the gospel. No ancient genealogy or infancy narrative (as in Matthew and Luke). John the Baptist channels the 8th-century prophet Isaiah (40:2-3) in heralding Jesus’ mission and baptizing him (Mark 1:2-11). Jesus then spends 40 days alone in the wilderness, where he’s tempted by Satan and blessed by angels (1:12-13). In Galilee, Jesus calls his disciples to join him on this gospel mission (1:14-20). In Capernaum, we see Jesus busy teaching, healing, and quieting all kinds of insane nasty demons (1:21-28). What he does to recharge himself, after expending so much energy, is the focus of our study.
Have someone read aloud Mark 1: 29-39.
Finding My Story in God’s Story
2. If you were invited into Peter’s house for dinner, how would you have felt watching his mother-in-law serve dinner right out of the sick bed?
- It’s the woman’s job.
- Where is Peter’s wife? Shouldn’t she be doing this?
- Peter, give your mother-in-law a break.
- I don’t understand what’s happening in their culture.
- Other __________.
3. Ever have one of those days or weeks like Jesus did where it just kept on coming? How did you handle it?
4. What usually happens when you go beyond your ability to cope?
- I start saying dumb things and making mistakes.
- I get angry, my fuse gets short, and I start lashing out.
- I look for excuses to bail on the project or on people.
- I take on the weight of the world and start feeling sorry for myself.
- Other __________.
5. What resources would you draw upon from your place of solitude to sustain you?
- My computer—to facilitate good practices and make God-pleasing decisions
- My exercise equipment—to help ward off the effects of exhaustion
- Mementos of my parents—to remind me who I am and whose I am
6. What do you suppose Jesus was praying about so early in the morning?
7. At the end of an exhausting day, Jesus pressed on into the night and even then, was interrupted when he took a few moments for himself. The next morning, rather than let him alone, the disciples found him and urged him to keep up the pace. Do you sometimes feel pressed into service to go above and beyond? What is that like?
- I complain to myself and/or others about how unfair it is.
- I seek comfort in food, TV, or other distractions and diversions.
- I feel like I’m relegated to a life of hard work and drudgery with no breaks.
- I have been known to crash and burn, but that creates sympathy for me.
8. Tell a story where you took someone for granted and realized later how much they had been there for you all along.
9. To finish up, tell the man on your right one or more ways you appreciate him and all he does. Man on the right, you just soak it up by listening and saying, “Thank you.” Make sure each man gets a turn to speak and listen.
10. End with a prayer of renewal and appreciation for all.