By Patrick Porter

Begin with prayer

Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting. Take a moment in silence, in the presence of Jesus and each other, and ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together. 

Debrief your experience from the practice last week.

Debrief the teaching from Jan. 21

  1. What stuck out to you about the teaching?
  2. Is the idea of “R-rated” content in the bible something new to you? 
  3. How do you feel about this content being in the bible?

Discuss the following questions and prompts

  1. Why do so many of us expect Christian art to come in a certain shape and size? To avoid certain indiscretions?
  2. What do you think about the idea of meeting God in bright and beautiful, straightforward art and dark, offensive, and abstract art?
  3. Is this challenging for you? If so, why?

Talk over this coming week’s Practice:

The first step in developing the spiritual discipline of art appreciation is the willingness to learn. We must open our hearts and minds to seek God in art and then learn and mature in how best to meet him there.

The authors of the bible often used poetry to communicate some of their deepest emotions. Watch the video below to understand better how poetry is used in the bible. 

You will use Lectio Divina this week to read through one of these poems. (if this is new to you, a guide to Lectio Divina is below) In 2 Samuel, David had been running for his life and narrowly escaping death many times over. This was written in response to his survival. 

Read 2 Samuel 22v1-20. 

Can you relate to any of David’s emotions in this passage? Did anything new stick out to you when reading this with Lectio Divina? Be prepared to discuss this with your community next week.  

Guide for Lectio Divina

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, your person in this moment? 

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.

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.