Exploring the Nature of God
Our faith and our understanding of Church is often defined by how we view the nature of God. As people created in the divine image, we are called to seek an ever-growing knowledge of the nature of God and to let that knowledge shape our lives.
- John Wesley on the Character of God
- Please read the Scriptures for the week as well.
Small Group Session Agenda
Mysterious and Majestic God, You are with us. Thank You for the gift of your transformational presence. By the power of Your Spirit, You’ve transformed the dust of earth into a living soul.
Center us in You as we launch out into the deep.
With each breath, fill us with your Spirit and cause us to be born anew.
With our lives, let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
With our hearts and minds, love through us so that we can wholeheartedly love one another.
Guide us, Holy Wonder, and reveal Yourself as the One who makes us One.
In the gift of this moment, we affirm that we are divinely loved and lovable.
We are the children of God.
Together, we will learn from the actions and words of one another.
Christ’s lessons on love are centered in how we treat others and in how we treat ourselves.
We will exercise courage in this study as we share stories of struggle and strength.
We will stay at the table and receive those stories with grace.
We will not be afraid to launch into the deep.
We will commit to the vulnerability necessary to allow God to break us open.
We will set and respect boundaries and honor confidentiality together.
When uncertainty arises, we will remember the Spirit of “peace that passes our own understanding” and can intercede for us.
We will remember that even when we don’t feel “United,”
The uniting love of Christ can reveal a pathway to greater
wisdom and mutual respect.
No matter what, there is a place for each one of us in this study together.
Let us hold each other up in prayer, hold each other accountable in love, and
trust that our God is making all things new.
Thank you for the gift of being present to one another in this holy time.
Genesis 2:4b-9; Genesis 3:1-13a and 21; John 1:14-18; 1 Corinthians 13
With Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling
Bishop Easterling is the episcopal leader of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.
Head & Heart Discussion
- Our family of origin can profoundly influence how we understand God’s nature. Which image resonates more for you: God as a loving parent, God as a ruling monarch, or another image that you might name? Explain as you are comfortable.
- How would you describe to another person the mystery of God? How do you worship that God?
- Take a moment, look inside yourself and reflect back on that image that came to mind during Bishop Easterling’s video. What image of God did you envision and how does that translate into who or what you prioritize and privilege? How does placing God in one culture, race or gender place limits on the fullness of God’s being?
BEYOND THIS SESSION
Prayer and Pathway to Journaling
Often, when we become reflexively resistant to what we’ve experienced through study, it is pointing towards an area worthy of more reflection and prayer. In this part of study, we invite you to examine your areas of resistance or struggle. Allow God to reveal how transformation can occur in those areas.
Use these open-ended questions to facilitate your introspection:
- How does the discussion from this session apply to your life, your church, our denomination?
- Where is the Spirit revealing to you areas appropriate for growth and transformation?
- How does what we talked about transform your relationship with God and others?
- Write about one attribute of the nature of God that is meaningful to you and why. What is one way you might enact that attribute with someone you encounter in the week ahead? If you’re comfortable, take that action and share the results with someone in your group.
- Write a prayer to ask for God’s support and enlightenment to apply what you learned, and then pray it.
- Book: Blowing the Lid Off the God-Box: Opening Up to the Limitless Faith by Rev. Anne Robertson
- Movie: Bruce Almighty (2003)
- John Wesley Sermon: Paraphrased and excerpted from: “The Unity of The Divine Being”