1) Sharing: Joy (What’s going well this month?), Junk (What isn’t going so well this month?), Jesus (How have you seen Jesus acting through others this month?)
-Who is someone you admire/ look up to? Why?
-How do you find peace throughout the day?
2) Focus: Read the following passage out loud as a group.
The Real Meaning of Peace (Author Unknown)
There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. But there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.
But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest – in perfect peace.
The king chose the second picture. Do you know why?
“Because,” explained the king, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.”
Discussion: – Would you have chosen the same picture?
– Comparing the pictures to your life, when is your life like a calm lake? When is your life like the stormy rugged mountains?
– What does it mean to you to be ”calm in your heart”? What is stopping you from this?
3) Scripture: Read Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help when the morning dawns. The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations I am exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Discussion: -God takes our stormy mountain days and reminds us to “be still.” What does it mean to “be still”?
-Is this easy for you or more difficult?
-The word “Selah”, which is used at the end of each section of this passage and 71 other times in the Bible, is often translated as ‘stop and listen’ or ‘pause and think of that’. Why do you think the word Selah is mentioned so many times in the Bible?
4) Sending: What will you do this next month to live out being still as a faithful follower of God?
5) Closing Prayer: Close your small group time in prayer by coming up with a prayer as a group, or read the following together:
Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Help us to “Be Still” amidst the storminess of our lives and find you in our serenity. In your loving and holy name we pray, Amen.