Before 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)
- Preview and have the videos listed below ready to view.
Invite the group to sit silently and consider four definitions you are going to read to them. After each definition is read, have them take a minute to silently consider each of these questions before moving on to the next definition:
- In what ways have you experienced this kind of love?
- In what way have you shown this kind of love?
- In what ways has this kind of love affected your live
The four definitions are:Greek Words for Love
Eros – Loving with passion that is usually sexual, but can be merely appreciating beauty.
Philos – A friendship between equals that involves affection and loyalty.
Storge – The natural love and empathy for your family and offspring.
Agape – Unconditional positive regard for others that wishes nothing but the best for them.
Upon concluding the final reflection, ask the group:
- What did you discover about yourself or others by doing this exercise?
- What kinds of things do you think make various forms of love easier or harder to either express or accept?
- In what ways does is authentic love an expression of power?
- What do expressions of God’s love for us, or ours for God, say about our relationship with God?
Read together Ephesians 3:14-21 and watch the Bible background video:
Then ask questions like these:
- In what ways is this passage an expression of love?
- How do you think that advancing in spiritual maturity and knowledge might affect the way we feel and convey love?
- In what ways could this plea for growth and maturity not be received as a necessarily good thing?
- What kinds of things should we pray for, and how should we do that, if we are to uphold the example set by this passage?
Say: Love is a reality that we experience in different ways, and deepen in as we embrace all that life brings. What we understand about God’s love also changes and shifts, struggles and perhaps deepens as we embrace all that faith can bring. As we listen to these two versions of the song “Both Sides Now” reflect on where you are in your understanding of God’s love at this point in your life.
Play the following two Youtube clips of the song “Both Sides Now, allowing for about two minutes of silence between songs:
Judy Collins version
Joni Mitchell version
Ask questions like these:
- How has your experience and understanding of love changed over time?
- How would you describe your understanding of God’s love for you as you’ve been taught versus what you’ve experienced?
- What questions/struggles, if any, do you have about God’s love for you?
Close with prayer that concludes with a re-reading of the scripture, encouraging the group to hear the words as being directed personally to them.
Writer: Joy Yee