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 Lamentations 3:22-32 and watch the Bible Background Video.
Say: In the video, Nikki describes the wider context of the book of Lamentations. The destruction and loss of Jerusalem was a deep pain that led to years of suffering.
- Why is loss so hard?
- How are we affected by loss? Initially? Later on?
- Is there a good or a bad way to deal with loss?
- What difference does our faith make when facing a loss?
Say: The text (vs. 25-31) suggests that waiting on God is part of the process.
- Why does God make us wait?
- Is waiting a part of the experience of faith? Why or why not?
- Where is the church waiting on God?
- Where do you wait on God?
Say: The growing Atheist movement increasingly bases its case for the belief in the non-existence of God on a general sense that we are continuously failed by, or at least disappointed by notions of “God” and religious belief systems in general.
Then lead a conversation using questions like these:
- To what degree is this a fair criticism and why?
- How does one approach the unavoidable suffering that comes with humanity and choose to let it draw us closer to God and each other, rather than divide us?
- What can we, as believers, offer the world that might help others affirm God’s presence? How do we help others to adopt our choice to embrace a faith that is rooted in our relationship with God?
Close by viewing and sharing in this prayer. It was offered at the 2015 General Assembly of the CBF (cbf.net), a few days after the shooting in Charleston, SC. The prayer is given by Kasey Jones, Senior Pastor, National Baptist Memorial Church in Washington DC.