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)
Begin by playing the Fruit video then ask questions like:
- What is the longest you had a fruit and/or vegetable in your refrigerator?
- What ended up happening to that fruit?
- What feelings went though your mind as you watched this video and why?
- How would you feel if that food was all the food you could find?
Content (From the Mind Session Page)
Read Amos 8:1-12, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Then ask questions like these:
- When have you had fruit that went bad, and why was that allowed to happen?
- How can it happen so quickly and unexpectedly?
- What is God saying, through this image, about the time of prosperity that Israel is experiencing?
- Why might this image be so compelling to those who heard it?
- The people are worshiping God “properly” in terms of ritual… but what is missing?
- When have you found yourself in this frame of mind or spirit, and how did you get there?
- What is God foretelling through Amos in the later parts of this passage (verses 7-10)?
- Why is a time when people don’t hear from God a frightening thought, even for us?
- By what means does a society get to this point?
Closure (from the Current Session page)
Continue by telling the group:
Caring for the vulnerable in our current context takes many shapes. One way that several bloggers have teamed up to support people in need has been the recent creation of the Compassion Collective. This effort by writers Elizabeth Gilbert, Glennon Melton, Brene Brown and Rob Bell and Sheryl Strayed raised money for refugee families and homeless youth.
Share the website with the group, emphasizing this quote from Elizabeth Gilbert:
“Those of us who are warm and dry and safe and well-fed must show up for those who are cold and wet and endangered and hungry. That’s a rule of life. Every ethical and religious and spiritual tradition in the world agrees on that rule.”
- To what degree do you understand this to actually be a rule of life and why?
- In what ways does this idea reflect Amos’ words?
- What do you think of Gilbert’s assertion that this “rule of life” is central for every religious tradition?
- What religious traditions are you aware of that dismiss this as a “rule?”
- Assuming that this really is a core tenet of faith, why do you think there seem to be so many people in need?
- Looking at our passage of scripture, what do you think are the dangers of not taking the needs of others into account?
- If we can borrow Amos’ metaphor, what do we need to do in order to keep our fruit from rotting?
End the session by praying together that those “who are warm and dry and safe and well-fed…” learn to “…show up for those who are cold and wet and endangered and hungry.”