Season of the Spirit / Season of the Flesh: Joy as an Act of Resistance
Season of the Spirit / Season of the Flesh, part 3: Joy as an Act of Resistance
Season of the Spirit/ Season of the Flesh: Joy
By Cameron Silsbee
Lectio Divina: 1 Peter 1v3-9 (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 1 Peter chapter 1. You will be reading verses 3 through 9. 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)
Think about how Peter uses words like “praise”, “rejoice”, and “inexpressible and glorious joy”. Discuss how this does or does not currently line up with your experience following Jesus.
Prayering together (15 minutes)
Peter was writing to followers of Jesus who were experiencing the pain and pressure of persecution for their love and faithfulness to Jesus. Verses 3 through 9 was Peter’s way of encouraging them to keep perspective by remembering what God had done for them, what he was presently doing for them, and what he will do for them.
Using this paradigm, take a few minutes to write down three brief prayers, one to two sentences long each.
Write down a short prayer thanking God for what he has done for you. Be specific. Something along the lines of: “Thank you for healing my leg”, or “Thank you for giving me hope in my life”, or “Thank you for lifting the burden of my shame”.
Next, write down a short prayer acknowledging something God is doing for you right now. Be specific. Something along the lines of: “I’ve experienced you teaching me patience in this season”, or “I’m understanding your love for me more”, or “You’ve been speaking a lot to me through the Scriptures”.
Lastly, write down a short prayer of trust for what God will do for you when he returns. Be specific. Something along the lines of: “I know that you will heal the pain of losing my brother”, or “I trust that you will show me that my life has eternal significance to your Kingdom”, or “I’m looking forward to having lasting peace”.
Once everyone has finished writing down their prayers, take some time to pray together by having whoever is comfortable read one, two, or all three of their brief prayers out loud. No need to elaborate on them. Just simply pray out loud what you have written down.
When everyone who wants to has prayed, have a person thank Jesus for your time together.
Optional: to finish your time, ask if anyone is feeling burdened, hurting, or struggling. If so, have someone from the group pray out loud over the person/people.
This week, set aside time to do Lectio Divina three more times over 1 Peter 1v3-9. In each session, write down what you feel is significant to you in each section of Scripture and why.
Day One: verses 3-5
Day Two: verses 6-7
Day Three: verses 8-9