06.14.2020 | JUST BE | Wk 8: “Just Be Open”
Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
First, reflect generally on what it means to be open.
What does it mean for you to be open to something or someone? What characterizes it? What doesn’t?
Next, read Deuteronomy 6:4-5. As discussed on Sunday, this is a famous text called the Shema, which comes from the Hebrew word for “Hear” or “Listen.”
First, reflect on Shema. In the biblical worldview, listening isn’t something that only means hearing sounds. To truly Shema, you also must pay attention to what was said, honor the one who said it, & then act upon it.
Is this how you normally understand listening? How does it impact the way you receive the passage?
How does being open play into that understanding of truly listening to God?
Next, reflect on each part of the passage that flows out of truly listening to God in this Shema way.
“Love (or Ahavah in Hebrew) God” – which, in the Hebrew worldview, includes both affection & actions that embody those affections (directed towards God & others).
Is this how you normally define “love” (affection & actions)? How does truly listening & being open to someone help produce this kind of love?
“With all your heart (Lev)” – in the Bible, the “heart” wasn’t the source of emotions, it was the source of our will (our thoughts, worldview, & actions.
How does listening & being open allow us to love someone with our thoughts, worldview, & actions?
“With all your soul (Nephesh)” – this world encompasses our being. It is the core of who we are as a person (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually).
How does listening & being open allow us to love someone with all of who we are or our being?
“With all your strength (Me’od)” – strength is better translated as our very much or our everything. It includes all of our time, talents, treasures, & abilities.
How does listening & being open allow us to love someone with our “very much”?
Reflect on each one of these terms (heart, soul, & strength). Where are you currently closed off to Shemaing God by holding one of these avenues of loving other people?
What might it look like to listen to God by opening up that part of your life to God & loving others?
Getting Out of the Hole
Take time this week to practice Lectio Divina. Follow the steps laid out in the message on Sunday:
- Step 1: READ
- Read through a short passage slowly & gradually – don’t analyze it, just repeat it & listen.
- Step 2: MEDITATE
- What does this text say to me, today, in my life?
- Go through each part & reflect on that question.
- Wait until one word or phrase sticks with you.
- Step 3: PRAY
- Ask God to show you what He wants you to hear from that word or phrase.
- Step 4: CONTEMPLATE
- Sit in silence & listen for God to speak to you about that word, phrase, & area of your life that it applies to.
- Trust that God brought it to your attention for a reason.
- Step 5: ACT
- Commit to acting in some small way on what you heard God say to you in this time through the text.
Journal about your experience with this practice. Note anything that stands out or really hits home. Share your experience with your growth group next week!
The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Calhoun
Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating
The Naked Now by Richard Rohr
Coming Up This Week:*
Sunday, June 21: Join us for the last week of our series Just Be, where we will be looking at how to just be love.
* Please see mye3.org for details.