Preparation & Digital Addiction
Read this overview
The writer John called the day before the sabbath the “preparation day” in John 19v31. Jews like John and Jesus would take almost a whole day to get ready for the sabbath, rather than just stumbling into it unprepared and stressed out. So this week we’ll pract preparation. We’ll also be experimenting with limiting (or ideally turning off!) our access to the digital world of smartphone, social media, email, etc. Should make for lively conversation!
Begin with silence and prayer (5 minutes)
Gather together as a community in a comfortable setting (around a table, on the couch, the floor of a living room, etc.). Say a quick prayer to invite the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together. Then spend a few minutes in silence. Why silence? Because we live in a busy, noisy world, under a non-stop assault of distraction. In the midst of all the chaos, it’s hard at times to hear the voice of God, and that of our brothers and sisters. As we gather together as a family, we want to hear what the Father is saying to and through each of us, and respond in turn. A great way to do that is to begin each time with silence and prayer.
Debrief last week’s practice in small groups (10–15 minutes)
If you are in a community of seven or more, divide into small groups of 3–4 people each (ideally same gender). Spend a few minutes catching up on life...
Then talk about the following debrief questions from last week’s practice:
- How did it go?
- Does the rhythm you decided on last week need any adjustment? · Was it hard to slow the pace of your life down?
- What was the best part?
- What was the hardest part?
- How did it effect the following week?
Open to the Bible together (10 minutes)
Have somebody read Exodus 20v8 10.
Have another person read John 19v31.
Talk about a few of the following questions:
What's the difference between a day off and a sabbath, according to Exodus?
What does it say about the sabbath that the longest of the Ten Commandments is number four?
Why would first century Jews call Fridays “the preparation day”?
Talk about the coming week’s practice as a community (10–15 minutes)
Here’s the practice for the coming week:
• Spend time the day before gearing up for the Sabbath. Ideas:
- Go grocery shopping and stock your kitchen with food
- Pre-make your dinner (soup is an easy one, or enchiladas, or casserole)
- Clean or pick up your house or apartment
- Answer all phone messages and return all text messages
- Plan out a rough schedule for the Sabbath (remember to take it slow and give plenty of space)
- Think of something you can do to make the day stand apart - a special desert, a trip to Blue Star for donuts, a picnic at the park, a spiritual book you love, a friend you want to have coffee with, etc.
• Turn off your phone and computer for the Sabbath (or at least, limit your time)
- Actually put it away in a box or closet
- If 24 hours is just too much, or you can’t do it for some reason, try turning it “Do not disturb” mode and checking it every four hours
- Note: for those of you who think this is legalistic or way too hardcore, we simple encourage you to try it for a few weeks, ideally 3–4 as it takes awhile to get over the cravings of digital addiction! If you don't feel a marked increase in peace and joy in your emotional health and spiritual life, than go back to normal.
Discussion questions for the coming week (10–15 minutes)
What preparations will you need to make prior to your sabbath?
What can you do to make the sabbath special? For you? For your spouse, if married? Kids, if a parent?
How will you limit your access to technology in order to enjoy the sabbath?
There’s a lot of talk about digital addiction lately. Is your phone, social media, email, etc. a form of addiction for you?
Do you think you need to turn off your phone for a day a week?
What are the positive benefits of going a full day of the week without phone, social media, or email?