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)
Ask the group to see if they can recite the words from The Byrds’ song “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, then play the song and ask:
- If none of you have ever heard this song before, what do you think of it now that you have?
- Which of the most important phrases did you know by heart, which phrases did you miss?
- Why did you remember some phrases more than others?
- Why do you think this song was such a hit back when it was first released?
Content (From the Mind Session Page)
Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Then ask questions like these:
- At first reading, does today’s passage seem to you to be optimistic? Pessimistic? Neutral?
- The first eight verses are a poetic expression of the Teacher’s point. Why do you think the writer intentionally chose to use opposites (to be born and to die, etc.)?
· The activities mentioned are mostly simple… why use such simple images?
- In what ways does this use of everyday images reinforce the Teacher’s point?
- What in this list most surprises you and why?
- Rather than expression of things we should do, or a simple description of life, how does this list remind us that there’s balance in all of life?
- Why does the Teacher claim that God gives us work to do and what does this imply about the meaning of that work?
- In what way is even work a beautiful thing in its appropriate time?
- The Teacher claims God has intentionally kept God’s plans hidden from us. To what degree is this frustrating or patronizing, or freeing?
- Since we cannot know – or influence – the eternal designs of God, how should we live our lives?
Closure (from the Media Session page)
Play the Dear Younger Me music video and ask:
- If you could give any advice to your younger self, what would you say and why?
- What advice would you like to give your future self for the coming year?
- In what ways does your relationship with God define your hopes for the future or inform your past?
- What can you do to help other people remember and plan well for the things God has done, or will be doing for them?
Close in prayer.