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)

Share this page about cats in Rome. As well as this Wikipedia entry on Taroshima and ask:

  • What do you think about the “cat colony” phenomenon and why?
  • Why so you think people and whole communities involve themselves in such things?
  • In what way might the kind of thing be happening where you live?
  • Why do you think people and animals will stick with an idea over a long period of time, even when it sometimes doesn’t make a lot of sense?


Content (From the Mind Session Page)

Read Isaiah 9:1-4, then watch the Bible Background Video.

Then ask questions like these:

  • Verse 1 refers to the previous chapter, where Isaiah speaks of the “darkness” or “gloom” that has come about because of the invaders who have caused such destruction. Why is “darkness” is an apt metaphor for what we experience in difficult, chaotic or troubling times?
  • The writer’s imagery calls to mind a sunrise that brings warmth and hope after a long, dark night. What light is God bringing to these people according to verses 3-4?
  • What sort of hope and warmth does faith bring into our lives, even in the midst of difficult times?
  • C.S. Lewis once wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” In what ways does that quote compare with this passage?
  • The writer speaks in these verses as if these things have already happened, even though they have not. Is this hope, living according to a different reality that hasn’t happened yet? Discuss.
  • How do you feel about Nikki’s statement that “despair is presumptuous” and why?
  • In what ways might hope also be presumptuous?


Closure (from the Media Session page)

Play the Someday commercial and ask:

  • What are some other things you thought would never happen in your lifetime but people you know believed would happen?
  • Why did they believe those things would happen?
  • When you see the impossible happen, such as when the Cubs won the World Series, in what ways does that affect your view of contending with other things that seem impossible?
  • What has God done in your life that gives you hope even in times of darkness?
  • What brings you light to your dark times?
  • What can we do to bring light to other people who believe that they are in a time of darkness?

Close in prayer.

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