Small Church November 12, 2023

Conversation Guide for November 12, 2023

Becoming Present to God

While lighting a candle to remind you of God’s Presence, have someone read the candle prayer:

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You have called us out of darkness into light.
Open our eyes to your presence,
Open our ears to your call,
Open our hearts to your love.


Spend some time thanking God for the day, for what comes to mind in gratitude in your life and in the world. Notice what is around you, what you see, and hear – offer up thanksgiving.

Becoming Present to One Another

Share a consolation (what you are most grateful for) and desolation (what you are least grateful for) from the past week.

In Conversation with the Word

Read Hosea chapter 11.

Watch the video.

Read Scriptures

Read Hosea chapter 11 again.

Consider the following questions:

  • What is surprising, upsetting, disturbing or compelling about the book of Hosea to you?
  • How do you respond to the nature of the central metaphor (the unfaithful wife, nation?)
  • What do you feel for Hosea?
  • What do you think about the concept of pathos, the idea that God is moved by humanity?
  • What are some ways in which you have been taught, or understood, that God is holy? That is, what does holiness, righteousness mean in some religious understanding?
  • What is the nature of God’s holiness in this chapter? (“I am the Holy One, not a man. I will not come in wrath.”)
  • How might this understanding of God help to shape our theological and spiritual vision moving forward as individuals and as a church?
Prayer and Blessing

If there is time and inclination, pray for one another, or ask one person to pray for the group.

Close with someone reading the blessing over you all as the candle is blown out.

May the Father of many resting places grant you rest;
May the Christ who stilled the storm grant you calm;
May the Spirit who fills all things grant you peace.
God’s light be your light,
God’s love be your love,
God’s way be your way.