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Bible Study: A Bone to Pick with God–Christian Meditation

Suggestions before you begin.

  1. Read the article “A Bone to Pick With God“.
  2. Take the group out for BBQ ribs or gather together and BBQ them. Eating them on the bone will help youth remember the concept of meditation from the Old Testament.

Objectives:

  • Participants will see how meditation in the Old Testament was regularly practiced.
  • Participants will learn what Christian mediation is and what it isn’t.
  • Participants will practice a meditation exercise.
  • Participants will explore ways in which Christian meditation can be practiced–personally and in a group.

Read the following quote together and discuss it:

“We minister among people who enjoy the greatest accumulation of material wealth in the history of humankind, and yet often carry the most emaciated and anemic of souls. As Mother Teresa once said, ‘You in the West have the spiritually poorest of the poor… it is easy to give a plate of rice to a hungry person, to furnish a bed to a person who has no bed, but to console or to remove the bitterness, anger, and loneliness that comes from being spiritually deprived, that takes a long time.’

The most difficult aspects of our ministry among the spiritually poor is that the problem is so easily hidden. Has there ever been another society that has produced so many spiritual books, workshops, retreat centers, worship experiences, churches, and sacred fashion accessories? The culture in which we minister seems ignorant to the fact that the plethora of Christian experiences, consumer products, and activities only belies our spiritual deprivation and disconnection from God. Why do we create so many clanging Christian gongs when ‘God alone’ is all that’s needed?…

As youth ministers we seek to help young people develop strong and healthy souls. We seek to tend lives that are rooted in the rich soul of God’s love. We seek to cultivate within young people enough trust and faith in God that they might resist the powers and principalities that diminish them.”1

Discuss:

A. What do you think Mother Teresa is observing?

B. Have you observed similar displays of “spiritual deprivation and disconnection from God”? If so, where have you observed or experienced some of these?

C. Can it be as simple as “God alone is all that’s needed”? What do you think Mark Yaconelli means?

D. How can you and your brothers and sisters around you continue to stay focused on “God alone” when such “Christian experiences, consumer products, and activities” cause distractions?

 

(Download the PDF for the rest of the study.)

1Mark Yaconelli, Downtime: Helping Teenagers to Pray (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008), 282f.

About the author

Tim teaches DCE courses and theology at Concordia University Nebraska. He has been married to Kathy for 32 years. They have two grown kids. Tim has served as a missionary in Japan, DCE in Reno, NV, and Portland, OR.  He has been on faculties at Concordia Chicago and now Concordia Nebraska. He also serves as the DCE internship site coordinator and has placed about 200 DCE interns in the US and around the world.
View more from Tim

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