Season of the Spirit / Season of the Flesh: God is Patient, God is Kind
Season of the Spirit / Season of the Flesh, part 5: God is Patient, God is Kind
Spiritual Exercise: Lectio Divina, Titus 3v3-5
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.
Open your Bibles to Titus chapter 3. You will be reading verses 3 through 5. Follow the Lectio Divina rhythm of reading and praying through the text.
- 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.
Journal (5-10 minutes)
On Sunday, we described the window that God creates between sin and its consequences as redemptive time. God populates that window with kindness in order to lead us to repentance (Romans 2v4). When we keep in step with God’s Spirit, some of the naturally occurring fruit of that intimacy will be patience and kindness in us as well.
In what ways have you succumbed to impatience and harshness during this trying season? Write them down. Have you been swept up in the hateful, demonizing rhetoric of the political outrage machine? Have you been impatient or unkind to your friends, spouse, or kids?
Having written these things, contemplate the ways in which you would like the patience and kindness of God to change you in the days ahead.
Praying together (15 minutes)
Invite anyone who is comfortable to share from what they’ve written. When someone shares, have another member of the community volunteer to pray over them. Continue to share and pray until everyone who is up for it has a chance to share and receive prayer.
Close with a prayer of gratitude, inviting the peace of God to cover your community in the days to come.