Season of the Spirit / Season of the Flesh: A New Creation: Goodness and Faithfulness
Season of the Spirit / Season of the Flesh, part 6: A New Creation: Goodness and Faithfulness
Season of the Spirit/ Season of the Flesh: Goodness and Faithfulness
By Cameron Silsbee
Lectio Divina: 2 Corinthians 1v3-11 (20 minutes)
Have one person read these instructions out loud to the group.
As a group, do your best to be in an environment with minimal distractions. Make sure everyone has access to a Bible and a way to take notes. You will be doing a time of Lectio Divina together, slowly and prayerfully reading through a portion of Scripture. Each person will work through the steps of Lectio Divina for the text quietly. After about 15 minutes, you will talk about your experience with your Community.
Open your Bibles to 2 Corinthians chapter 1. You will be reading verses 3 through 11. Follow the Lectio Divina rhythm of reading and praying through the text. If you are unfamiliar with Lectio Divina or are a bit fuzzy on the steps, write them down to help you remember as you read the text. These are the steps:
- Read: Slowly and carefully read the text to yourself. 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 time through the text, allow it to connect with you personally. Which words or phrases assume a particular significance in your heart, your season of life, or your relationships? Write these down.
- Respond: Talk to God about your experience. If you’re confused, say that. Moved? Express gratitude to God. Upset? Tell him about it. If the text has brought something else to mind, talk to God about that.
- Rest: Finish your time by sitting quietly in God’s presence. You might express wonder, awe, gratitude, or praise through words, or you might allow yourself to feel and experience these things in silence before God.
Make sure everyone understands what they are doing before starting. Once the group is ready, have someone pray, inviting the Spirit to quiet your hearts and minds and guide your time together. Set a timer for 15 minutes (or whatever appropriate length time your group needs. Don’t be in a hurry) and begin.
Once the timer goes off, discuss the text together.
Discuss the text (5-10 minutes)
From the teaching, goodness points to both God’s redemptive purposes for a world broken and defaced by sin, and our role to be God’s image bearers, reflecting God to the world around us. Faithfulness is understood as relational fidelity to God through functional dependence on him.
Where do you see these ideas of goodness and faithfulness as Paul talks about his experience of suffering, comfort, and despair?
Praying together (15 minutes)
Start your time of prayer by having one person invite the Spirit to speak to everyone throughout your time praying. Then, ask the Spirit to show each person in what way(s) the Spirit has grown you in goodness and/or faithfulness over the last year. Spend a few minutes quietly listening to what the Spirit has to say. If it’s helpful, write down what you feel the Spirit is saying.
After a few minutes, thank the Spirit for speaking. Invite people to share what they heard, if they are comfortable doing so. As people share, have one person pray over them thanking God for the work he has done in them, and to continue bringing out of them the fruit of the Spirit.
This week, set aside two days to read the book of Ruth and then pray in response to it. Before you read, take time to watch the Bible Project video for the book of Ruth. As you read, reflect on which character resonates with you the most. It may help to jot down each act of goodness or faithfulness the characters in the story do.
Day 1: Watch the Bible Project video, read Ruth (jot down notes as you do if you need to).
Day 2: Pray through your thoughts and reflections on the book of Ruth. Ask the Spirit to reveal to you areas of ordinary goodness and faithfulness in your own life, and how he’s used them or wants to use them.