By Cameron Silsbee
Begin with prayer.
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting. Take a moment of silence in the presence of Jesus and each other. Have one person read over the group Exodus 3v7-8 and then pray to ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.
Debrief the teaching.
- Was there anything new about the Exodus story from Sunday’s teaching that stood out to you?
- What is meaningful about God’s justice (against Egypt) and his mercy (for Israel and Egypt)?
Discuss the following prompts.
As you talk through these prompts, we can demonstrate respect and care for each other by listening well. It’s usually best to avoid correcting, “teaching,” or attempting to fix a person’s problems unless they invite the group to respond in any of those ways. Feel free to share as much or as little as you feel comfortable sharing.
- Think about a meaningful time when you were waiting for God’s justice to help or rescue you (e.g., a loss, tragedy, crisis moment, feeling deeply wronged by another person, experiencing a systemic/political injustice, etc.). Briefly share with the group your experience of waiting for God’s justice. Was it challenging to wait? How did God meet you in your time of waiting?
- Take a moment to reflect on any time(s) you’ve felt worried or scared of God’s justice against you (e.g., making a decision you know you shouldn’t make, struggling with a secret sin, feeling guilty or ashamed of your lifestyle, etc.). Without necessarily going into details about what you were doing, describe how it felt to believe God’s justice was against you.
- In your own words, how does Jesus make a difference as we navigate God’s justice?
Talk through this week’s Practice.
For this week’s Practice, read John 21v15-19. John’s biography depicts the disciples often falling short and failing Jesus. In this story, you’ll see how Jesus treats one of his disciples, who has betrayed and failed him. Use Lectio Divina to slow down and immerse yourself in the text. You can use the following guide to do so.
Prepare to meet with God: Turn your phone off and leave it in another room. Situate yourself comfortably in a quiet, solitary place. Calm your body and quiet your mind before God as you work to prepare your heart to receive what God has spoken through the text and to respond accordingly. Finally, invite the Holy Spirit to guide your thinking and feeling as you read.
Read: Read the passage slowly and carefully. Take your time. As you move through the text, pay close attention to what words and ideas draw your attention uniquely. When your focus draws to a particular word or thought, pause momentarily to reflect on them.
Reflect: Upon completing the passage, return to the beginning and read again. Allow it to connect with you on your second journey through the text. Which words or phrases assume a particular resonance in your heart, your season of life, or your person at this moment? Ask, “What do I need to know, be, or do in light of the text? What does this mean for my life today?”
Respond: Talk to God about your experience. If you’re confused, say that. Moved? Express gratitude to God. Upset? Tell him about it. Are you compelled to worship? Worship. If the text has brought something else to mind, talk to God.
Rest: Pause in God’s presence before fleeing from the moment. You might express wonder, awe, gratitude, or praise through words or allow yourself to feel and experience these things quietly before God.
Close in prayer.
End your time together by having one person read the Nicene Creed over the group.
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him, all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.