Listen to the song "Bend" by Brandon Heath
Here's the link "Bend"
Things to Ponder:
As a Simple Church Facilitator, think about your own journey. Your own grieving?
As you ponder the narrative of Joseph, and all he endured; as well as the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, who both went through so much loss and suffering (Joseph 11-13 yrs in prison; Mandela 27 yrs). Think about what they must have processed in order for them to come out of that closed to bitterness and resentment, and open to love, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Review: Read these excerpts of the narrative.
Genesis 39:1-21, 41:41-57, 42:8-24, 43:26-34, 44:18-45:11, 50:15-21
1) Why do you think most discipleship approaches do not look deeply at the family or cultural iceberg? What are the long-term effects of this trend?
2) Share your thoughts about forgiveness. Do you find it easy to forgive; not hold a grudge? How does Brene Brown's statement resonate with you that in order to truly forgive one needs to grieve; something has to die?
What are you going through now? What do you have to die to in order to truly grieve?
3) Have you experienced this reality, of God saying to you in times of suffering, "push, it's supposed to hurt a bit"? Rather than simply giving you an epideral?
Have you experienced this reality, that God's presence in the pain is enough?
4) What were your family rules? Think of those in contrast to the new Kingdom of God Family Rules that now govern your life?
Here are some examples that are meant to stimulate conversation. Maybe read them one at a time and discuss. Each other share.
a) Family rule around money? Was it hoarded? Was it believed to be the ultimate source of security? Was it handled poorly? How does this "rule" contrast with God's Kingdom Values?
b) Family rule around conflict? Was it to be avoided at all costs? How does this fit with God's Kingdom Values that we are called to be peacemakers and ministers of reconciliation? How do we embrace a godly practice of conflict resolution?
c) Family rule around sex? Were they ashamed of it? Never talked about. Considered tabboo and ugly? Or was it conveyed as something no longer sacred. What goes on in you when you hear that God created that sex is good, and beautiful...when practiced within Godly boundaries.
d) Family rules around grief, saddness and depression? Was showing weakness seen as a sign of weakness? Did you grow up with the idea that "real men don't cry"? How does this fit with God's Word encouraging people of faith to embrace their pain; invite God into their saddness? Do you see examples of this in scripture? Consider reading Jeremiah and the book of Lamentations, and the Psalms which all exhude honest emotion.
e) Family rules around anger? Did your parents/family express anger like a volcano - erupt and everyone runs for cover. Or like a brick in the oven - not talk about it, sweep it under the carpet, until the brick gets so hot it stays hot forever. It never cools down. Now it's anger all the time? How does God's Kingdom encourage anger? What does Ephesians mean when it says "in your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down in your anger"?
f) Family rules around other cultures? Did it line up with the biblical view of how God sees and treats all people? Is there any race of people that you are prejudice towards? Any racism in you?
g) Family Rules around feelings? Were you allowed to express your feelings? What if they were powerful feelings? What then?
What are your particular family traits and rules that you're still carrying today? What are the ones that don't line up with God's kingdom rules? How do we begin to surrender these things to God?
All locations and dates throughout the summer are listed on the Home Page Banner