Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Provide a pen and paper to someone in the group, or use a whiteboard and markers (See Context).
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media).
Context (From the Mind Session Page)
Give someone a pen and paper, and tell the group:
Today’s passage is at the end of the story of the flood. Let’s begin by quickly reviewing what we know. Without looking at the text, let’s work as a group to recall the story while someone lists the details.
- What brought about the flood?
- What do you remember about the size of the ark and who was on it?
- How long does this story take place?
Compare your memories with the facts from Genesis 6-9, then ask:
- Why do you think this story is usually very well known, even down to the small details?
- To what degree is this really a children’s story?
- What challenges does it present to our understanding of God?
Content (From the Current Session Page)
Read Genesis 9:7-16, and watch the Bible Background Video for this session.
Continue by asking:
- Every civilization based around a river has a flood story, so why use one here?
- If you had become angry enough with someone to kill, what would it take for you to establish a covenant that you would not get mad at that person again?
- What does the nature of humanity, especially as it was understood at that time, say about this covenant that God established?
- How do you feel about the statement that, “It can be uncomfortable for us to think about a God who is moved by humanity because for so long we have been taught that God acts independently and is not swayed by humanity”?
- In what ways have we honored this covenant through time?
- How does this narrative make you feel about rainbows, and what are some other natural events that remind you of the relationship God has with us?
Closure (From the Media Session Page)
Play the “Restart” music video and continue by asking:
- If you’re playing a game how bad does it have to get before you want to restart?
- When have you or someone you know felt so lost that you wanted a restart from God?
- In what ways have you experienced God hitting the “restart button” for you?
- Some people feel that God is distant and unchanging, while others believe that they are in a constant dialog with God, where God’s mind changes frequently according to the situation. Which of these is closer to your view and why?
- How might knowing that God changes and sometimes even restarts things change the way we approach our faith?
- In what ways might it affect the way faith is perceived by people who struggle to believe?
- What can we do to help people who feel disappointed by their faith experience restart?
Close in prayer.