Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- 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 Media Session page)
Play the Things Not to Say to Your Wife” video and ask:
- What do you think makes some people think of this video as “funny?”
- In what ways have you experienced the kinds of things portrayed in the song?
- What do you think the song says about relationships and why?
Play Snowflake video and continue asking questions like these:
- How do you typically respond to children and why?
- Why do we find children to be inappropriate at times when God made then to be snowflakes?
- If God has made us all like snowflakes, then why do the differences bother us so much?
Content (From the Mind Session page)
Have someone read aloud Mark 10:1-16 and view the Bible Background Video:
Then ask questions like these:
- In what ways have you seen this passage about divorce used in the past?
- How do you feel about this passage now, and why?
- Why is it so important to understand the situation of a passage from the Bible, before we try to apply it to life today?
- Mark tells us that the Pharisees wanted to test Jesus. What do you think they expected Jesus to say?
- Putting the concepts of the marriage commitment and the protection of the powerless together, how do you interpret what Jesus is saying about divorce here?
- What are some possible reasons Jesus was “indignant” about the way people kept children from him?
- What do you think Jesus means when he says that we must receive the kingdom like a little child?
- How might we create the kind of community where people can do this?
Closure (From the Current Session page)
Discuss together the interview with Nadia Bolz-Weber (Note: the interview runs for 36 minutes, so you might want to listen to it in advance — or send the link to the group so they might listen to it in advance — in order to gain context for the conversation) and ask:
In the interview, she said, “I don’t monitor people’s behavior, let’s put it that way. So much of Christianity has become about monitoring behavior, and so far it has just failed to work as a strategy for making people better. For instance, we’re in the middle of this Ashley Madison scandal with all of these clergy, so on some level Christianity became about monitoring people’s behavior, like a sin-management program, and that almost always fails and often backfires.” How do you respond to the idea of a “sin management” program?
- In what ways does this sound like the Pharisee questions in the text from Mark?
- Who have you encountered recently that made you think, “that is exactly the kind of person Jesus would hang out with?”
- Verse 14 says “But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” Who are the vulnerable or overlooked people in your community at large?
Pray. Offer a time of silent confession, inviting people to pray about the ways they have focused on right answers more than embracing those who Jesus loves. Pray together to end the session.