Session 10: Mercy
Suggested Week of Use: May 3, 2020
Core Passage: Rom. 11:17-32
News Story Summary
Two cruise ships, the Zaandam and the Rotterdam, which had been denied entry at several ports of call because of cases of corona virus onboard, were finally allowed to dock in Florida on April 2 so the healthy passengers could go home and the ill could get treatment. The passengers and crews had been in limbo waiting onboard to see if any ports would take them. On the Zaandam, no one had left the ship since March 14. At that time, it had stopped in Punta Arenas, Chile, where passengers thought they were going to disembark for flights home but that plan was scrubbed.
(For more on this story, search the Internet using the term “Passengers allowed off Zaandam and Rotterdam cruises.”)
To replace the Engage idea under Focus Attention, share the new summary of the passengers on the two cruise ships which were denied entry at multiple ports due to the corona virus. Direct the group to imagine what it would be like to be on one of the ships, being able to see the safety available on land but being denied permission to get there. Compare those feelings with the feelings a person may feel if they understood salvation to be available for a select family or people who kept certain religious practices.
Say: In today’s lesson, Paul reminds us that the gospel is for all people. No one has to be outside looking in and be denied the opportunity to respond to the gospel.
Summarize and Challenge
To replace the Challenge idea under Summarize and Challenge, call attention to the first and second bullet points listed under In My Context (Personal Study Guide, p. 94) or Apply the Text (Daily Discipleship Guide, p. 84). Remind the group about the two ships which had been denied entry at various ports. Invite the group to suggest reasons for this denial such as fear of the virus, inadequate medical facilities, etc. Allow them to suggest attitudes that may have been expressed towards those on the ships. Lead the group to respond to the first question set under the bullet points (Who around you has rejected Christ? What is your attitude toward them? How can you and your Bible study group continue to minister to them in a loving and respectful way?).
Close with prayer, asking God to help the group represent Christ to all people.