Week 1: Nostalgia

Review this week's message.

Key Scripture
17 The entire community of Israel traveled in stages out of the desert of Sin, just as the Eternal instructed. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there to quench their thirst. 2 Once again the people complained to Moses.
Israelites: Give us water to drink! We’re thirsty.
Moses: Why do you aim your complaints at me? Why are you testing the Eternal One?
3 But the people were so thirsty for water, they complained to Moses and leveled accusations against him.
Israelites: Why did you lead us out of Egypt? Was it to kill all of us—our children and livestock included—with this thirst?
4 Moses had had enough of their complaints, so he cried out to the Eternal One.
Moses: What am I supposed to do with these people and their relentless complaining? They are on the verge of stoning me.
Eternal One (to Moses): 5 Here’s what I want you to do: go on ahead of the people and take some of the elders of Israel with you. Also, be sure to bring your shepherd’s staff—the one with which you struck the Nile. 6 I will be there when you arrive standing at the rock of Horeb. I want you to strike the rock with your staff; and when you do, water will flow out of it so that everyone will have enough to drink.
The elders of Israel accompanied Moses and watched as he did what the Eternal directed.
7 Moses named the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites complained and tested the Eternal, saying, “Is He standing with us or not?”
Exodus 17:1-7 (The Voice)

Start talking.  Find a conversation starter for your group.
  • What movies/tv shows/songs make you most nostalgic?
  • Have you ever had a smell(s) trigger a memory?  What was the smell and what did it remind you of?

Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.
  • As you look back at the past year, when did you find yourself longing for the way things "used to be"?
  • Do you find yourself thinking "the grass is always greener on the other side"?  Does social media, friendships, family, work, etc. play into this?

Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.
  • How can you create space for gratitude when it feels like you're in the "desert"?  
  • How can you hold on to the gift of past memories without getting stuck in them?
  • What gifts are offered by this "New Normal"& how can we give thanks for them?

Start praying.  Be bold and pray with power.
Father, thank you for walking with us in the desert. The greatest gift we have sometimes is your presence.  Help that to be enough.  Help us to give thanks in good times & bad.  Your ways are often a mystery to us, so help us to trust that you are in control (even when we have the urge to go backward, rather than pushing ahead).  Amen.

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.
  • Create a gratitude ritual.  For the next 5 weeks we are going to be talking about things that get in the way of giving thanks.  Starting this week, come up with something that you can do everyday/every week as a means of focusing on being thankful.
    • IDEAS: gratitude journaling, gratitude jar, doing something for someone else as a means of giving thanks for your own gifts, do Highs & Lows at the dinner table each night (start with the lows & end with the highs--give thanks for both), thinking of what you're grateful for each night before going to bed, etc.