By Cameron Silsbee and Ariel Villaseñor
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 confession went.
Read this overview
In the creation narrative found in Genesis chapter 1, God chooses to create and shape the world using words. He also decided to use words to affirm his good creation, empower humans to partner with him in stewarding this creation, and give humanity the privilege of reflecting God’s creative power by creating more humans. Words are important. They have creative, life-giving power.
With this power, what we say can bring life or death, marring and ripping apart God’s good world. When words, our actions, and attitudes reflect God, his goodness, and his intent for the flourishing of creation and people, that can be called a blessing. When words, actions, or attitudes cause destruction and devastation, harming God’s good creation and his image-bearers, those can be called a curse.
As followers of Jesus, the Creator God has given us the privilege of blessing others – of bringing words, actions, and attitudes that help a person flourish and experience the truth about their value to God. At times, life-changing moments will take place as we do so. At other times, people will simply be encouraged through a challenging situation or season. Whether the blessings we share seem to be transformative or mundane for the person, as we bless others, we are formed to reflect who God is and, in that way, experience blessing in return.
Talk through the following 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.
- Spend a moment reflecting on a time when someone spoke over you in a meaningful, encouraging way that blessed you. Briefly share with the group what was spoken and how that has impacted you.
- Have you been able to speak an impactful blessing over someone’s life? If so, share with the group what happened. If not, why do you think that is?
- Spend a moment imagining what the next week would look like if you were a consistent presence of blessing with words, attitudes, and actions to those around you in your life (i.e., family, friends, coworkers, customers, classmates, etc.). By consistently choosing to live this way, what would be different about your behavior? In what ways are you already doing this, even if imperfectly?
Talk about this week’s Practice as a Community:
For this week’s Practice, take time to bless others.
Set aside three times this week to ask God to bring to mind someone in your life who you could bless with your words, actions, and/or attitude. When someone comes to mind, and how to bless them is clear to you, take the time to do so as soon as it’s appropriate. Resist the urge to procrastinate or to talk yourself out of acting. Do your best not to expect a particular response from the person.
Be prepared to debrief with your Community next week about how your time blessing people in your life went.
Close in prayer