Catch up on how things have been since the last time your Impact Group met. Allow anyone new to introduce themselves. Then ask group members:
Ask for a volunteer to read Psalm 84 to the group, praying a short prayer that – however much they’ve come to know Jesus, they’d know him better as a result of your time together.
If you’re not gathered in person, the leader should project the video for the group through sharing their screen. If you’re using Zoom, make sure you have optimized your screen share for video.
[video coming soon]
Suggested questions to help your discussion.
Psalm 84 depicts someone who wants to be at the temple – but who, for some reason, cannot be there. The prayer for God’s ‘anointed one’ i.e. the king (verse 9) suggests that a return to Jerusalem may not be possible because of impending war.
We’ve seen in previous sessions how central the temple was to the life of the people of Israel. It embodied the welcome of God, and his willingness to provide the sacrifice necessary for life with him forever.
This hope – of returning to the temple – fuels the psalmist. Even though he is in the Valley of Baka – an extremely arid place – he pictures the hope of returning to the temple as causing springs and pools to erupt in the wilderness (verse 6), making him strong (verse 7). Having set his heart in this way makes him blessed (verse 5).
This image – of knowing the future welcome of God in his presence – also fuels Christians to continue our pilgrimage today (see, for example, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
Reflect on your own stories:
Ask for any requests for personal prayer. Pray that God would help your Impact Group to be refreshed and to refresh others who feel in a dry and arid place.
At the height of 2020’s lockdown, around 100,000 international students were prevented from going home.
Pray together for these students, and perhaps think together about how you might show practical care and concern for them. Check in during the week to help each other deliver on your good intentions.
You may have people in your Impact Group who are new to reading the Bible, and who are already seeing how much emotional sense it makes of our lives:
Confirm the time that you’ll meet next week, and ask someone to close your time together in prayer.
Taking it further – links you might like to share with your Impact Group
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