By Cameron Silsbee
Begin with prayer
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting. Take a moment to sit in silence in the presence of Jesus and each other. Have one person read Mark 10v46-52 over the group and then pray to ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.
Debrief the teaching
- What stood out to you about this week’s teaching?
- What stands out to you about the idea that God would cover our shame with his honor?
- How would it feel to you if you could be completely known, transparent, and vulnerable with loved ones in your life without any apprehension, fear, or embarrassment?
Read this overview
When we conceptualize vulnerability, we often distort what it actually means to be vulnerable. Author Curt Thompson says this about vulnerability: “So much of what we do in life is designed, among other things, to protect us from the fact that we are vulnerable at all times.”
Vulnerability is often thought of as a momentary act of revealing oneself to another person, typically to inform the other person that something is challenging, troubling, or wrong with your situation. However, the reality is that we are vulnerable people, mortal and interdependent on others for our well-being. The question then is if we will embrace our vulnerability in life and relationships with others or hide behind whatever masks seem most appealing to us to minimize the felt risk of vulnerability.
Discuss the following questions.
- What sorts of “masks” are you drawn to in order to hide your vulnerability? (e.g., a positive disposition, comfort/entertainment, financial security, spiritual maturity, cynicism, marriage/parenting roles, being the victim/hero, etc.)
- How have you experienced Jesus treating you as you’ve attempted to hide behind masks?
- With whom are you comfortable being vulnerable? Do you need more people with whom you can be vulnerable? Do you think you are a person with whom others can feel safe?
Talk through this week’s practice.
Set aside at least 15 minutes one time this week to practice Lectio Divina as you read through Philippians 3v4-11. If Lectio Divina is new to you, feel free to follow this outline to guide your time:
- 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 in unique ways. When your focus is drawn to a particular word or thought, pause momentarily to reflect on them.
- Reflect: Upon completing the passage, return to the beginning and read again. On your second journey through the text, allow the text to connect with you personally. 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. Compelled to worship? Worship. If the text has brought something else to mind, talk to God about that.
- 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.
Consider the things in your life that you may hide behind that alienate others and God from who you truly are.
Be prepared to share with your Community next week anything noteworthy from your reading and/or ways in which you would like to embrace vulnerability in your life.
Close in prayer
End in prayer by having one person read Hebrews 12v1-3 over the group.