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 Current Session Page)
Remind the group about the recent news story of Steve Harvey, host of the Miss Universe pageant, announcing the wrong winner on live television. Show the Miss Universe video, and ask questions like:
- If you were Miss Columbia, how would you respond in that moment?
- When have you ever been part of an experience where a title or identity had been was taken away and how did you feel about it?
- How would you identify yourself if you had to go by something other than your name?
- How do you think others would identify you if they didn’t know you and why?
- Why might some people find it traumatic when they are involved in a case of mistaken identity?
Content (From the Mind Session Page)
Read Luke 3:15-22 , then watch the Bible Background Video.
Ask questions like these:
- From what you know about John the Baptist, why do you think people thought he himself might be the Messiah?
- How does John describe Jesus in verses 16-17 and how does it compare with what we see Jesus doing in the Gospels?
- Jesus ends up meeting John’s expectations, but it still might have been difficult to know that his own cousin was unsure of Jesus’ authenticity. Why do others’ expectations have so much power over us?
- Why might it be significant that Jesus was baptized at the same time as everyone else ?
- What do you think is the significance of the words that were heard as John baptized Jesus?
- Why might God have chosen this moment – at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry – to affirm his identity in this way?
- In what way might this moment have affirmed Jesus, even as people like John expressed different expectations of him?
Closure (from the Media Session page)
Tell the group that talking about baptism can get complicated and encourage them to think about the concept of baptism, as they understand it, while watching this video. Play the Remind Me Who I Am music video and ask:
- What do you think baptism has to do with that music video?
- What is someone saying when they choose to be baptized?
- If you were asked to describe your faith to another person in five sentences or less, what would you say and why?
- If baptism defines our identity in some way, what does it do for our sense of being part of a larger group?
- In what ways does the shared experience of baptism call us to change the way we view other people?
- What can we do to better be able to view ourselves or others as God might view us?
Close in prayer for help remembering our identity as we encounter the rest of the world.