Luke 8:26-39 and 1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In groups of two or three, have each participant complete the following sentence, “I find silence to be . . .”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read: Luke 8:26-39 and (see note below) 1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a.
- Before reading 1 Kings, observe two minutes of silence. After reading the passage, observe another two minutes of silence. Did observing silence before reading the passage aid in your attentiveness to the passage? How so?
- Do you find it surprising how God encounters Elijah in a still small voice (19:12)? Why or why not?
- Why do we find it so hard to be still?
- How is being intentionally attentive to God connected with the ability to be intentionally attentive to others?
- How do we see madness in the part of the story when Jesus encounters the man among the tombs? How do we see madness in the people who encounter the man with Jesus now “in his right mind”? How might we experience madness through inattention or scatteredness?
- Is there anything else in these stories that has you pondering or wondering?
- (R) How is being attentive to God risky? [We might hear rebuke, challenge, or the need to change something in our lives.]
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
God of might and God of stillness, you have and continue to bring order from chaos. Help us to crave your order more than the allures of chaos; to desire the stillness of your presence over the noise of the spectacles. Give us the zeal to proclaim how much you have done for us. Amen.