Sermon Study Guide – St. Thomas’ Church, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador


(Date: 10 June 2012) “Family Values” 1 Samuel 8:1-20 and Mark 3:20-35


  1. Every family, group, community and nation have a group of shared values. Conflicts often arise when these values are not respected by some members. God’s people also have a set of family values. They began to be set in Ur of the Chaldees- present day Iraq, some 3500 years ago…

Abram called to trust and follow God wherever He led him…

Joseph learned to trust God and saved his family from starvation…

Moses learned to trust God and saved his Hebrew people from slavery…

Joshua learned to trust God and found a home for a bunch of refugees from Egypt called the Israelites…

For 400 years Israel learned to trust God to raise up judges to save them from their enemies whenever things got really bad (though they kept reverting to their bad habits and poor family values they had learned as slaves in Egypt)…

The Israelites rose up and went to Samuel and demanded a change in their family values. What were their demands and what was the result? Why didn’t God do anything about their rebellion?




Leader’s Guide:

When did your parents let you “learn the hard way” by letting you have or do something they knew was not good for you? Would you like a career as a judge? Why or why not? What reasons does Israel give in their request for a king (vv.4-5,19-20)? What are some values of our society you do not think are in line with God’s values? Why? What do you do when Christian values conflict with society’s values?


  1. In the gospel reading we see Jesus having to deal with a difficult family situation. Through His example, Jesus helps us learn how to handle the frustrations of life. What family values might have motivated his family to come and get Jesus? What (Trinitarian) family values were motivation Jesus (Hint: Jn 3:16)?

Acts is about mission, about speaking, proclaiming, the good news to people everywhere, in languages (and language) they can understand; Luke tells us that the Holy Spirit is the driving force behind this work, e.g. in the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch, we read “the Spirit said to Philip …” (8:29). They spoke “in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability” (v. 4). Divided into nations in antiquity, now all humanity is one; now God is in our midst. The Spirit is the launching pad for this mission. The list in vv. 9-11 includes Jews from the whole of the known world.



Leader’s Guide:

What is something you’ve done that made your family or friends wonder if you were crazy? What is one thing about your family you would like to change? What wouldn’t you want to change? What family value in your church do you appreciate? Why? How can you and I improve the way we relate to our “brothers and sisters and mothers” in the family of God?



Prayer for the Family (adapted from The Book of Common Prayer, p. 732).
MERCIFUL Saviour, who loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus, hallowing their home with your sacred presence: Bless our home (and the homes of our parish), that your love may rest upon us, and that your presence may be with us. May we all grow in grace and in the knowledge of you, our Lord and Saviour. Teach us to love one another as you have commanded us to. Help us to bear one another’s burdens and thereby fulfil your law, O blessed Jesus, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for evermore. Amen.