Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Have any selected video or music clips ready to show
- Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media)
Before showing the intro video clips, offer a setup comment similar to this: “In the movie ‘Jurassic Park’ a theme park featuring dinosaurs spins out of control, loosing hungry dinosaurs on the staff and guests. Two of the guests are the grandchildren of the park’s founder. In the scene we are about to view, the children find themselves in a dangerous, seemingly hopeless situation as their vehicles, in the middle of a dinosaur tour, lose power due to a storm. We will watch two clips. One will show them facing a dangerous situation, and the other, a brief conversation between the granddaughter and the scientist trying to rescue her and her brother. Let’s watch to see how these scenes unfold.”
Show Two Jurassic Park clips
1) T-Rex attacks vehicles (3:28)
Then show this brief clip, saying this to introduce it: “After rescuing the granddaughter, the scientist needs to rescue the grandson who is still in the truck, stranded in a tall tree. First, he has to deal with a terrified girl.”
2) He Left us…
After viewing the clips, lead a discussion by asking questions like these:
- How do you think the children felt during the first scene?
- How do you think the adults felt during the event? How did they try to rescue the children?
- Did they show they had hope of survival? If so, how did they show it?
- In the second clip, how would you describe the granddaughter’s state of mind? What was she most worried about? (Being left alone). How important is “not being alone” during times of fear?
Read Psalm 107:1-3,23-32 and watch the Bible Background Video.
Then, ask questions like:
- Why do you think it was important to have a hymn that reminded the people of how God saved them in the past?
- If the hearers of the psalm or hymn we not sailors, how might this hymn still be helpful to them? What might their fears have been?
Fear is not only something we feel individually, but our communities have fears.
- What are some fears shared by many people in our world today? (hunger, disease, war, racial tensions, financial woes, etc)
- What would “rescue” look like to some of these fears?
- What are way that we — God’s people — can help people through and to the other side of these fears? How can God use the church to offer hope and rescue to people experiencing these sorts of fears?
Fear is also something you and I face in our lives. Sometimes it is present more than others, but we will all face real crisis points and feel fear.
Ask the participants to close their eyes and consider the following questions silently (leader: leave ample silence after each question for the group to have time to reflect).
- What is the greatest fear you face today?
- What would “rescue” look like to this situation for you?
- What is the greatest crisis you have faced in the past?
- Where and how did you experience the presence of God in that time?
- How did you find your way to the other side of that crisis? What role did God play in helping you find your way?
Ask the group members to open their eyes. Ask questions like these to spur discussion:
- Would anyone feel comfortable sharing a past experience where you faced crisis and fear, and found your way through it?
- For each story shared, follow up with: Looking back on the experience, where was God at work helping you move beyond the crisis?
Read again Psalm 107:28-31:
28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out from their distress;
29 he made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad because they had quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
31 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to humankind.
Lead a time of prayer, giving thanks to God for the times God has brought us through perils in life.