Week 2: Come and Hear
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering and Opening (10 minutes). In pairs, share a story of time when you felt trapped or tested by your circumstances.
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
Read: Psalm 66:8-20
- Is the Psalmist using the singular (I, me) or the plural (we, us)? What difference might that make to how we read this passage? [Our faith is collective. It is not merely about what happens to us as individuals, but also the whole.]
- How might both good and difficult life circumstances be a test of our faith? [Our faith can be challenged in how we deal with success as it is challenged in times of despair.]
- How do verses 9 and 12c (the third line of verse 12) help us to interpret verses 10-12b? [God is faithful. The tests we encounter in life are not so that God learns or grows in knowledge of us, but so that we grow in knowledge of God.]
- How does this portion of Psalm 66 tell the story of the Israelites? How is the story of your life, of your faith journey, similar and different?
- How can we live verse 16? How can our churches help members feel more equipped to share their testimonies?
- Where have you seen God at work in you and through you?
- How might it be helpful to view each person we come in contact with, as those who are “chosen and precious”?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
Faithful God, the depth of our faith is revealed through the good and the bad we encounter. In all circumstances, help us to turn to you, trust you, and then listen for you and praise you. May we see with the eyes of faith this week. Amen.