Today we had a jump-start to Grace Groups. We met from 2 to 630 and went through lessons two and three. It was good to be with my group and to get to know them better. We all shared a ten minute version of our stories, so there is a greater understanding of who we are and where we come from. I find that so helpful the process that now lies ahead. Let me highlight a few of the key things we discussed today.
Week two we look at what does it mean to respond well to one another. We look at the story of Tamar which really is a very vivid picture of abuse and generational sin. If you want to read it, check out II Samuel 13: 1-22. We then really look at the damage that is caused by silence. In Grace Groups, it is our hope to respond well to one another and we discuss what responding well sounds like. It is a great skill to learn how to enter into shame with grace, validate pain with empathy and affirm dignity with truth.
We also took time to look at the lesson of Nehemiah. Nehemiah illustrates a pattern for rebuilding lives that are damaged or broken. Damage happens in all kinds of ways. War, natural disasters and epidemics impact multitudes of people Domestic violence, abuse and neglect, poverty and tragedy impacts individuals and families. All of these also impact future generations, communities, and societies. How do you rebuild from such devastating damage? The book of Nehemiah is an interesting case study that has a parallel framework.
We take time to look at what it means in Nehemiah and in our own stories, what it means to Face it (:-3), Feel it (1:4), talk about it (1: 5-11), Ask for Help (2:-18), Look at the damage(2:11-20), unite with others (3:1-32), Expect Opposition (4:1-23, 6:1-19), Expect Disruption (4:10, 5:1-13) and Renew Relationships (7:1)
So, you can see we covered a lot of territory and we shared a lot of heart. I am thankful for the men and women who are taking this journey during these next weeks. It is my hope that they will continue to grow in curiosity about who they are and how God created them to be…..
The journey continues…..