Are you sentimental? What’s one thing you’ve held onto for a long time and wouldn’t ever throw away? Why does it mean so much to you?
This week we’re talking about building altars.
What is an altar?
What’s the purpose of it?
How does building an altar awaken you to God’s presence?
How does interacting with an altar you built a long time ago awaken you to God’s presence now?
Have you ever built an altar? Tell your group about it. Perhaps you don’t recognize your altar as an altar. Have you ever done something to help commemorate an important moment or remind you of something important from your past?
Make a list of possible altars we might build.
16 times in the book of Deuteronomy Moses encourages the people of Israel to remember what God’s done for them.
Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Deut. 5:15
Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. Deut. 15:15
Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. Deut. 24:18
Remember the days of old... When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance. Deut. 32:7-8
Why is remembering so important for Israel?
Why is it so important for you to to remember what God’s done in the past?
Do you dedicate intentional time to the practice of remembering and reflecting? If so, what does that look like? If not, what could you do on purpose to prioritize looking back, looking for God in your past?
We said on Sunday, “Build more altars and you’ll have more reasons to build more altars.” What does that mean? Has it been your experience that altars spur on encounters with God?
This last story in our series of enchantment stories finds Moses instructing the Israelites on what to do once God leads them out of the wilderness and into the promised land. The moment will inevitably be one in which the Israelites see the power and presence of God in a way they haven’t in a long, long time. Read Deuteronomy 27:1-7.
How does Moses tell them to mark the moment?
Does this altar in any way invite the Israelites into God’s presence? How so?
What can we learn from this altar about making altars? What’s important?
We’re forgetful people, and remembering doesn’t come naturally. Pray tonight asking God to help you remember the times He’s shown up for you.
You might also make tonight’s prayer a thanksgiving prayer, encouraging members to thank God for the ways He’s shown up.
Bring some craft supplies and encourage group members to memorialize a moment when they encountered God. You could draw pictures. You could use hot glue and rocks to make a desktop altar. You could make a collage from pictures cut from magazines. You could just write yourself a letter as a reminder. Whatever you do, be sure to build an altar. It’s good to get some experience.