From Psalm 137
Lament over the Destruction of Jerusalem
1By the rivers of Babylon— there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion. 2On the willows there we hung up our harps. 3For there our captors asked us for songs,and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’
4How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?
This is an excerpt from The Shawshank Redemption
- What set backs have banished you to a prisonlike status or a foreign land?
- How did you feel? Angry? Despairing? What or who sustained you? Where did you find hope?
- Has music played a similar role in your life (to Andy in Shawshank)? If you could pick one piece of music to share with someone in a desparate situation, what would it be?
- Andy acted on the urge to share his HOPE with the other prisoners. This proved to be a costly act. HOw is this like taking up the cross? In what ways have you shared your hope with others? Are you or your church helping those imprisoned (literally and figuratively) to sing the Lord's song? To live into hope?
- Why is hope a dangerous thing? How does that relate to being a Christian?
24For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
- How is this passage like the movie clip? What was the unseen hope? How was it expressed?
- What does this mean about our faith? How do we express our unseen hope in our words and actions?
From Geurillas of Grace by Ted Loder
O God, this is a hard time, a season of confusion, a frantic rush to fill my closets, my schedule, and my mind, only to find myself empty.
Give me hope, Lord, and remind me of your steady power and gracious purposes that I may live fully.
Renew my faith that the earth is not destined for dust and darkness, but for frolicking life and deep joy that, being set free from my anxiety for the future, I may take risks of love today. Amen