(If this post achieves the proper balance of sarcasm and truth, I’m imitating Stuff Christians Like. If it doesn’t, well, don’t blame SCL.)
Dear “What strikes you about this passage?”,
I know it’s unorthodox to write a break-up letter to a small group question, but I’m Protestant, so I’m okay with that.
Yes, a break-up letter. I’m supposed to say, “It’s not you, it’s me,” but I really think it’s you.
I know we’ve circled each other since that first Bible study years ago. I used to think that you had a specific answer in mind, something mind-boggling-ly striking that I was supposed to see. Now I know you’re just a time filler. I know, I know, harsh words – but they’re true. It’s time for us to say goodbye.
Every time I hear you, I say to myself, “Strikes” me? Nothing “strikes” me. As far as I was paying attention, there was no lightning strike from God zapping me in the heart while my group read this passage in a circle. Yes, I can see God speaking through this passage, but there is certainly no “striking” involved here. Nor smiting. Why do you have to be so violent?
What is your goal, o question? Are you trying to teach me the passage’s historical context? Are you attempting to show me practical applications of God’s general revelation? Are you highlighting a similarity or contrast with some other passage? Are you hoping to get me to open up to my fellow small group-ians? I don’t understand your purpose.
No one in my group says anything once you show up. We might all be sweaty Philistines, unable to see the striking aspects of this particular passage. Or, everyone else could be like me: they don’t see where you are leading us, o question-vague-enough-to-apply-to-any-passage-in-any-book-ever, and they refuse to follow your aimless wonderings.
Oh question, I know you have the best intentions. You want to open up the group to any topic, and you want to get conversation going with something “easy.” But like college essay prompts, the broadest questions are usually the hardest, and they encourage people to get off on all kinds of crazy topics. Dear question, it takes love and forethought – or divine inspiration – to be a proper small group question, leading us to see some truth. I’m afraid you just don’t exude those qualities (at least when I have seen you).
So, I’m sorry, dear “What strikes you about this passage?”, but this is the end for us. I’m sure you’ll follow me around to Bible studies for many years to come, but you’ll know deep in your heart that it’s over between us.