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 Mind Session Page)
If you are able, consider showing one of these Snickers commercials first:*
- When have any of you ever been in need of food or water so badly that you could physically feel it?
- Perhaps you were fasting, or have a medical condition like hypoglycemia, or were in a hot place and couldn’t get water. What was that like – both physically and mentally?
- When you are in such need, what other things become important – or unimportant and why?
- In what ways do you think such needs might change you as a person, at least in other people’s eyes?
Content (From the Media Session Page)
Read Psalm 63, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Ask questions like these:
- How would you react stuck in desert with no water?
- What are the kinds of things for which we “thirst” and why?
- What do you think it means for our soul to “thirst for God?”
- How do you feel about the way the psalmist talks about his enemies and why?
- When have you felt that God is so far away that you would do anything to hear from God?
- In what ways might it help to know that other people struggle and that you are not alone?
Closure (from the Current Session page)
Continue by saying:
The Bible background video said that “it can be easy to act out of those circumstances” when we feel vulnerable. “We speak in anger, we push people away, we refuse to do personal work that we need to do.” After the recent Super Bowl, many people have responded to Cam Newton’s response to the press after his team lost. Many have noted his lack of poise in response, while others noted the emotions he must have been processing with such a pressure-filled loss.
Show the Cam Newton video and ask:
- What do you see in the person being interviewed?
- Many people have judged Cam for his actions, but in what ways does this offer a picture of what the Bible background video described as “acting out of those circumstances”?
- Imagine that Cam had began his press conference with the words, “I feel that I am in a dry and weary land.” What does it matter for someone to recognize the vulnerable feelings they are experiencing?
- What comes to mind when you think about even a professional football player needing to seek some sort of shelter?
- Cam has since responded when asked if he had regrets about his response to the media, “I really don’t. I didn’t want to talk to the media at the time. The truth is, I still don’t want talk to the media. I’m human. I never proclaimed I’m perfect.” When have you felt this way during a “wilderness” in your life?
Tell the group that Glennon Doyle Melton said:
I learned that people need help. And the people who need the most help are the ones too lost to ask for it. YES. GLENNON. YOU LEARNED THE IMPORTANCE OF A NET. What? People need a net. Schools, churches, neighborhoods – Every institution needs nets. Nets are groups of people who watch out closely for each other. Who notice when someone needs help. Who have the skills ready to help when help is needed. Yes. Your life has taught you that nets are needed.
- What kind of net was the psalmist seeking?
- At what points are such nets present in your life?
- In what way are we called to be nets for people who are vulnerable?
Pray together to end the session, using Psalm 63 as a prayer.