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)
Play the As you Wish Movie clip and ask:
- What did you think of that type of movie love?
- What do you think of the idea of having a “soulmate” like many media presentations lead us to believe?
- If you were describing young love to a small child, how would you talk about?
- How do explain appropriate scenes of kissing in modern media to a small child?
- What would the Biblical writers have to say about our media’s image of love and sexuality?
- Without being graphic, can you name some inappropriate music and/or other media that is clearly against God’s gift of love of sexuality?
Content (From the Mind Session Page)
Read Song of Songs 2:8-13, then watch the Bible Background Video and ask:
- If we take this passage at “face value,” that is, as a simple love poem, what event is the writer describing?
- What time of year is it and why does it matter in this case?
- Based on what we read, who are the two lovers speaking to one another and what emotions are they expressing?
- Do you imagine they are young or old… and why do you imagine that?
- Nikki mentions some other common interpretations of this book – take a few moments to discuss some different ways of interpreting this particular passage. Who might the characters symbolize and what could we learn or experience from it?
- Why do you think Christians today tend to emphasize other interpretations, rather than to simply see this as a love poem in the Bible?
- This book has been surrounded by controversy for centuries – why do you think God allowed it to become a part of our modern Bible?
- What might its inclusion tell us about romantic love and sexuality?
Closure (from the Current Session page)
Share together this story on social media and self-image and ask:
- How differently is self-image formed these days, as people rely on social media for a great part of their relationship building?
If this story holds a message to the Church, what is the message?
Why might it be important to bring images of relationships into the context of Christian community?
How do we do this and how do we need to do better about holding up images of people in loving relationships?
In the Bible background video, we were challenged that our lack of talking about sexuality in the Church allows “the general population to determine what is normal.” How do you think we should bring realties of sexuality, similar to what Brian McLaren describes, into conversations in our churches?
Share this quote from Brian McLaren’s chapter on sexuality, inviting the group to reflect silently on this statement, then pray together:
The longer we hide from the truth of our sexuality – in all of its beauty and agony, in all of its passion and pain, in all of its simplicity and complexity – the sicker we will be, as religious communities, as cultures, and as global society.