Week #4: Pillars of Joy – Part 1
(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 22nd – 28th May 2017)
FOCUS PASSAGE/S: Isaiah 51:1-11 and 1 Peter 1:8-9 – read and discuss you initial response.
Part 1 of the Pillars of Joy focusses on 4 qualities of the mind: perspective, humility, humour and acceptance. Next week we’ll look at the Pillars to focus on the heart.
- A healthy perspective is the foundation of joy because the way we see the world is the way we experience the world. Stepping back – taking a look at an experience from different angles gives a new perspective. How can stepping back reveal the truth, deepen our faith and help us to find the good things in that experience?
- In Peter’s letter he says we believe and love and rejoice with joy even though we’ve not seen God. How has a refining experience (past of present) produced joy in you through that experience?
- Both men insist that “humility is essential to any possibility of joy.” A wider perspective gives rise to our understanding of our place in this world – our interdependence and mutual support. How do you think humility opens up the door for joy to be cultivated within, as we express the God-given gifts for God’s glory?
- What do you think about this statement: “When we have humility, we can laugh at ourselves… and especially the ability to laugh at our foibles, as essential to the cultivation of joy”?
- Read Isaiah 51:11. Think back to a time when you laughed with great abandon… a really good belly laugh. Without sounding flippant, could humour be the ‘secret weapon’ to dispelling a tense situation either in your life or in our community? How can humour unite instead of breakdown community?
- “Acceptance… is the opposite of resignation and defeat… The Archbishop did not accept the inevitability of apartheid, but he did accept its reality.” How can we use acceptance to engage with life so that we move into the fullness of God’s joy?
- Our reaction to people, places, things and circumstances causes suffering, rather than acceptance. We react and it’s impossible to experience joy when we are stuck in this way. What role does acceptance play in helping us to see clearly and respond differently so that our needs and that of our community are met?
PRAYER TOPIC: Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.
We continue to pray for the Nation.
We think especially of the matters in the news around misogyny, rape and violence, especially towards women and children. Pray for voices that will speak out in our own community and throughout the land that give a clear message that any form of sexual violation and exploitation is ‘simply not okay!’
Pray for those who are in need of healing, love and comfort.
Pray for each other as you’ve shared together and identified needs within in your group – we pray that joy will be cultivated within our hearts and minds.