Rhythms: Silence & Solitude

Life Group Discussion Questions

February 10, 2019

We are so afraid of silence that we chase ourselves from one event to the next in order not to have to spend a moment alone with ourselves, in order not to have to look at ourselves in the mirror. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In our worried, overfilled lives, it is clear that we are usually surrounded by so much outer noise that it is hard to hear our God when he is speaking to us. We have often become deaf, unable to know when God calls us and unable to understand in which direction he calls us. – Henri Nouwen

In our own contemporary context of the rat race of anxiety, the celebration of Sabbath is an act of both resistance and alternative. It is resistance because it is a visible insistence that our lives are not defined by the production and consumption of commodity goods. – Walter Brueggemann

Get the Conversation Started

Q: What are some of the things in your life that push you to hurry?
Q: How does your busyness affect your relationships with people? With God?
Q: How frequently are you finding times of solitude and silence to listen and commune with God? When and where do these places typically take place?
Q: What obstacles get in the way of your alone time with God? Have you found any good ways to overcome them?

Read & Discuss – Genesis 2:1-3

Q: The idea of rest and Sabbath take place in Genesis, way before the Law was given, what does this speak to regarding God’s intention for his people to rest? If God works and rests, and we are created in His image, what are the implications for us?
Q: What are some of the feelings that come to mind when thinking about practicing the Sabbath/Silence and Solitude? (Guilt? Freedom? Legalism?)

Read & Discuss – Exodus 20:8-11

Q: To you, what makes a day holy? Are there other days that you treat as holy (anniversaries, birthdays, etc.)? What makes those days different than others?
Q: Part of our struggle in resting is trusting in God’s provision. If we took this seriously, would you be able to handle all your responsibilities (work, household chores, etc.) and still rest one day a week? If not, what keeps you from it? And truly, how important are those things?

Read & Discuss Matthew 14:23Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42

Q: What example has Jesus set for us in setting time aside to get alone with God?
Q: If Jesus, the God-man, was reliant upon times of silence and solitude in his life, how much more pressing is it for us to get this time, particularly in a culture where things are more crowded and noisier than they’ve ever been?

Application

Q: Do you find yourself addicted to a life of hurry, busyness, and accomplishments? If so, how can you break this?

Kyle Wetzler
Pastor of Spiritual Formation
Summit View Church
kyle@summitview.net