By Cameron Silsbee and Levi Warren
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 Ephesians 3v16-19 over the group, and then have one person pray to ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.
Debrief as a group how last week’s Practice of blessing others went.
Read this overview
Humanity is prone to forgetfulness. Most people benefit from having a calendar of events, obligations, and birthdays – keeping a reminder of plans and appointments in front of their faces. But more than forgetfulness sabotaging day-to-day plans, forgetfulness permeates human history in horrific ways. Individuals forget painful personal lessons, cultures repeat historical atrocities, and humans allow the slow current of forgetfulness to draw us away from intimacy with God. Forgetfulness reminds us of our finitude.
God’s response to our forgetfulness is patience and a call to remember. An important motif of the Old Testament, and the Scriptures as a whole, is for God’s people to remember. Festivals, rituals, and art were all utilized by God to help his people remember. A lyricist, writing a Psalm of lament and hope for Israel to sing, uses these lines to turn lament into hope:
I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Psalm 77v11-12
For followers of Jesus, it is spiritually necessary to take time to pause and reflect, lest we allow forgetfulness to swallow up our ability to recollect what we’ve learned and what God has done and is doing in each of our lives. When we take time to integrate in our minds and hearts what God has done and what we’ve learned, we are better able to walk forward with perspective and intimacy with the God who has been at work in our lives, drawing out our true selves.
Talk through the following discussion questions:
Have one person read James 1v22-25 over the group before working through the discussion questions.
As you discuss the following questions, there is no need to rush to give an answer. It can be helpful to have silence for a moment as people think deeply about how to answer the question.
- What sticks out to you as something profound or meaningful that you’ve learned or experienced in the last two months through this series?
- How have the things you’ve learned changed you? How will they continue to impact your life moving forward? (e.g. how these things could continue to shape you over the next sixth months, or year.)
- What are some ways that would help you remember these meaningful things you’ve learned about your true/false self?
Talk about this week’s Practice as a Community:
For this week’s Practice, set aside some time to reflect on the things you’ve learned about yourself throughout this series.
As you reflect, ask the Spirit to help you solidify what you’ve learned about your true self and what it means for you to be the beloved of God. You could spend as little as five minutes doing this, or perhaps twenty minutes or longer. Just make sure you don’t rush the process and that you allow time/space for the Spirit to speak. If it’s helpful, you can also journal this process.
To help you further solidify what you’ve learned, and as a way to integrate it more fully into your identity as God’s beloved, make plans to share your reflections with someone close to you (e.g. a spouse/family member, a trusted friend, or someone from your Community). Speaking the truth of your identity, out loud and to another person, can be an impactful experience.
Close in prayer