The Story & Way of Jesus: Spirituality Creep (10.25.21)
Processing and responding to the Sunday sermon
After the group welcomes one another, have one person open in prayer and then take 2-3 minutes of silence. As you sit in silence, ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart in love toward God and your group mates.
The Sabbath Was Made For Man, Not Man For The Sabbath
On Sunday, Dave Lomas preached from Mark 2:23 – 3:6. The Pharisees were confronting Jesus about how He and the disciples were gleaning wheat from a field and eating it on the Sabbath. According their interpretation of the law, this was technically unlawful and forbidden.
Jesus responds to them in verse 27 and said that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” The implication being that the Pharisees had drifted far from the original intent of Sabbath.
Dave points out that the distance between the original intent of Sabbath, and where it wound up in the Parasitical mindset could be called “Spirituality Creep”
The Pharisees took something that was originally intended to bring us back to the image of God, a day where we imitate God in the rhythm of His rest, restoration, worship, and delight. They turned it into something religious and legalistic. This is spirituality creep.
This type of “spirituality creep” can become:
1.) A form of religion you use to get what you want.
2.) A type of self-righteousness that causes hate or indifference toward others
3.) Forms of humanism, (dieting, digital detox, minimalism) self-actualization and self-enlightenment vs true union with God
Jesus demonstrated that His new Kingdom did not depend on adherence to these very strict laws, but from spiritual practices, (like Sabbath) that brought His disciples into an experience of deep union with Him that results in true love and justice for others.
This week’s guide will provide space to dig in further, prayerfully process, and then discuss the sermon.
Reflection and Discussion
Read aloud Mark 2:23-28, and then prayerfully and silently reflect on the passage and these questions.
- Holy Spirit would you show me any areas where a type of “spirituality creep” has occurred in my life? Would you show me where those things that may have begun with good “intentions” but crept into empty religious, self-righteous or even humanistic ways of living? What do you want me to know as I notice these areas?
- Lord, are there any inner “Pharisees or Pharaohs” that may be driving me to act like a slave instead of a son or daughter? Would you silence their voices and their lies that say I don’t have time to rest, (or Sabbath), and please refresh me where I have become weary?
- Can you think of times that your spiritual practices have created a sense of true union with God, and where you have experienced His presence in tangible ways or deep expressions of His love?
- Where do you look expectantly in the future (hope) where do you want to experience a re-do, renewal or refreshing? Do you see how this would create a type of liberation that allows you to love others well?
After silently reflecting, take these thoughts into a time of group discussion.
- What came up for you during the prayer reflection time? What would you like to share with the group?
- Dreaming out loud together, what would it look like to be a community that deeply repents from all forms of spirituality creep, joyfully retuning to your first love, in awe, astounded with the story and image of God, drenched in His Spirit, full of wonder, and filled with His Love. How do you imagine this ?
Pray for your group, our church, our city, and our world.