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.
– Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media)
Read together Psalm 107:1-3,23-32 and watch the Bible Background Video.
In the Bible Background Video, Nikki describes the 4 images in Psalm 107.
“Verses 4-9 tell the story of a group of wanderers who were lost in the desert and finally make it to the place they were going. Verses 10-16, tell the story of prisoners who are set free. Verses 17-22, tell of “sick” persons who are healed. And finally, in our focus passage, verses 23-32, we are told about a group of sailors who are saved from shipwreck.”
Gather persons into groups and have each group (or, if your group is smaller, gather in pairs, or discuss the images one at a time). Invite them to spend a few moments discussing their image and portion of the Psalm. Ask each group to come up with a modern-day example of a similar scenario.
- Group 1: Verses 4-9
- Group 2: Verses 10-16
- Group 3: Verses 17-22
- Group 4: Verses 23-32
After a few minutes for the groups to work, gather everyone back together and ask questions like these:
- What modern-day examples did you mention?
- Was it easy or hard to come up with examples? Why?
- What are common elements between the images used in the Psalm?
- What do you think was the effect of remembering and re-sharing these times of hardship and rescue?
For our focus passage, verses 23-32 and the sailors, use questions like these to encourage discussion.
Say something similar to this to get things started: “In the Faithelement Podcast for this session, the group discussed how sailing is a group activity… something hard to do alone, and best done with several persons working together. They would either survive together, or sink together.”
- How is working together to sail a ship like or unlike being a community (a church) together?
- Why is it often easier for us to think about our hard times as private, individual matters rather than something we work through as a community?
- How do we see God working in our community and church to help people survive and move beyond the hard points in life?
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.