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)

Watch together the “Choice” scene from Sophie’s Choice (Note: This is an extremely emotionally difficult scene to watch. It is also a “spoiler” for those who have not seen the film.) and ask:

  • How does this scene make you feel and why?
  • What might you have done if you were in a similar situation to Sophie’s?
  • What happened as a result of this scene, or, if you haven’t seen this film, what do you think happened?
  • What difficult choices are you aware of people making in their lives and how did they handle them?
  • Why do you think God allows people to be placed in such situations?

Content (From the Mind Session Page)

Read Genesis 22:1-14, then watch the Bible Background Video and ask:

  • Why do you think this story appears in the biblical narrative?
  • People of other religions in those times sacrificed their children to their gods – why do you think Abraham expected his God to be different?
  • The passage doesn’t give any details about Abraham’s responses – what thoughts and feelings might have gone through Abraham’s mind when God spoke to him?
  • How might his thoughts or resolve have changed during the three-day journey?
  • Why do you think Abraham left the servants behind?
  • What do you make of Abraham’s response to Isaac’s question in verse 8?
  • Besides the fact that Abraham is being asked to sacrifice his own son, what is at stake in this story?
  • What do you think of Rabbi Oppenheimer’s idea that this was actually Abraham’s way of testing God – something like Gideon does in Judges 6:36-40?
  • Where do we see echoes of Jesus in this scripture?

Closure (from the Media Session page)

Play the Chris Singleton video (BTW, Chris was recently drafted by the Chicago Cubs to play professional baseball) and ask:

  • How do you feel about this video and why?
  • What kinds of personal sacrifice must Chris’ mom have experienced to create a sense of Christian duty and forgiveness in him?
  • In what ways do you feel God gives you strength to pass your personal spiritual tests?
  • To what do we sacrifice people in our own culture and how do we know when we’re doing that?
  • What can we do to help people make more meaningful sacrifices for others instead of sacrifices of others?

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