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Steven Lefebvre

“In the Habit” Session for devozine meditations for June 3–9, 2013.

 

MAKING THE CONNECTIONS

       (Watch video)

  

MEET THE WRITER

devozine Steven LefebvreMy name is Steven Lefebvre. I work with the youth and young adults at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Before my life of working at a church, I was the lead vocalist in a hardcore band. These days, I spend my free time being an armchair film critic, reading comic books, and playing much quieter music (well, sort of). I’m also an amateur champion of darts and dodge ball. I’m a huge fan of going to baseball games in the summertime and to college basketball games in the winter. Professionally, I have an interest in monasticism, biblical studies, and pastoral care. You can read my blog at www.stevenlefebvre.com.

 

STUFF YOU WILL NEED

 

PLUGGED IN

+    In “Program or Be Programmed,” Douglas Rushkoff discusses the need to understand “what’s actually going on behind the screen” so that we can use the technology rather than being used by it.

 

CHECKING IN

Invite group members to watch “Program or Be Programmed” by Douglas Rushkoff. After watching the video, ask them to brainstorm answers to the following question and list their responses:
       What is Facebook for?

 

EXPLORING THE WORD

Scripture: Matthew 7:24–29

 

Read aloud the scripture. Then read or explain in your own words the following information:

Who would be dumb enough to build a house on the sand? Good question. However, it isn’t the right question. The first step in building a house is to set the foundation, which means to find the flattest, hardest ground to hold up your walls and to support the weight of the whole structure. The dirt in Israel is layered. The first couple of feet are topsoil; the next ten feet are clay; and underneath the clay, way down below the surface, is very hard bedrock. Israel is a desert, so it is dry and the clay underneath the topsoil is hard. For most of the year, the clay is so hard that a house could be built on it. However, as in most deserts, when it rains it pours. Have you worked with clay? What’s the one thing you need to have to be able to mold clay? Water! The rain turns all the clay into mushy, moldable mud. So any good builder would know that the only way to build a house in Israel would be to dig more than ten feet below the clay and to build directly on the bedrock. This, of course, takes a lot of work and time.

Jesus says that the Christian journey involves learning about where you are and being wise about how things work. In the end, it’s about elbow grease and sweat; it’s about struggling. Being a Christian isn’t always fun; but Jesus promises that when trouble comes or when anti-God voices fill our heads, if we are wise and have endured the struggling, we will also withstand the temptations, stresses, and pressures of the world.

Hearing Jesus’ words and acting on them means being proactive in life. Rather than simply consuming the world around us, Christians learn about and discern what something is for and how it affects them. This means that when struggles come, we don’t run but we embrace the struggles by grieving and seeking help. One of the problems in our society is that with all the access we have to information, we don’t know who’s telling the truth and what messages are coming from God. We need to do the hard work of digging deep and discovering the way of Jesus. Only then will we withstand the rains when they come.

Discuss:
       What is the way of Jesus? How is it different from the ways of others? How can we tell the difference?
       How can we avoid being programmed, as Douglas Rushkoff says? How can we be the kind of people that program in our community?

 

SHARING IN PRAYER

Invite group members to read together the Prayer of St. Francis:

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

 

TAKING IT FURTHER

Before you log on to Facebook or to whatever site you may visit this week, find out who is in charge. Find out how the site makes money. The next time you go to a movie, log on to www.imdb.com and find out who produced and directed the movie. Find out a little about what kind of people made the film. Next time you watch a television program, pay attention to the commercials. What are they trying to sell and to whom? What do the advertisers think about the people watching the show?

—from devozine® In the Habit (May/June 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.
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