Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- 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 Mind Session Page)
Begin by asking:
- The Apostles’ Creed, on authority of the scriptures, says that one day Jesus will “return to judge the living and the dead.” What do you imagine that day will be like?
- What is the most or least scary aspects of such “judgement?”
- What are some things for which you think people of faith might be judged harshly when the end comes and why?
Content (From the Media Session Page)
Read Amos 5:18-24, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Ask questions like:
- What is Amos’ feeling about people longing for the Day of the Lord?
- What do you think of Amos’ imagery of not being able to escape judgment?
- How does this passage sound compared to what twenty-first century prophets say about the return of Jesus?
- How does this talk of judgement make those of us with religious backgrounds feel and why?
- Why does God dislike their festivals and worship rituals and what can/does that say to us in our era’s worship experiences?
- In what ways should we balance our worship rituals with justice in the world?
- Why have followers of God always seemed to struggle with balancing direct worship towards God with caring for God’s people?
- What is it about humanity that causes us to want a ritual that makes everything resolved between the divine and ourselves?
Closure (From the Current Session Page)
Visit this webpage on the Bread for the World website and notice the groups that experience hunger. If possible, place the webpage on a screen and slowly scroll through the list. Review some of the kinds of people who are hungry.
Then ask questions like these:
- Were there any kinds of people listed that surprised you? (Ex: Children, farmers, women) Why or why not?
- What are some systems or dynamics that cause or perpetuate hunger in these groups?
- What might Amos have said about the dynamics and systems that lead to hunger?
- What can we do to help ease hunger among some of these listed peoples?
- If hunger is so prevelant, why is it we hear so little about it? Is the invisibility of those who are hungry part of the way commumnities avoid dealing with hunger?
- Is hunger an injustice? Why or why not?
- What might Amos say we are called to do in response to our awareness of those who are hungry?
Close with a prayer.