Before starting, the meeting host should print out enough copies of this page (click on green printer icon above) for everyone in the group.
After general introductions, word of welcome and review of guidelines for small groups the meeting host will:
1. Invite someone to read the daily devotion printed below aloud.
2. Read the following introduction to the full text aloud:
In today's devotion, Ken Samuel names secrecy and cover-up as the two great accessories of evil in the world. Yet, exposing the wrong doing of those who are close to us, often puts us at odds with the very people from whom we desire love and acceptance. It's one thing to 'speak truth to power'; it's quite another to speak truth to our family and friends. Do you see this as an important responsibility in your life? Why or why not?
3. Read the full text again (below): Ephesians 5:11-13 (NIV)
11. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
12. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
13. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible - and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
4. Take a minute or two for silent contemplation.
5. As a group, reflect on the following questions (remember to refrain from cross-talk):
What word, phrase or image jumps out at you from this reading? Everyone shares without commentary.
What’s God saying to you in this passage? (remember to refrain from cross talk)
What is the call to action for you and/or for our faith community? (feel free to engage in group conversation when discussing calls to action).
6. Close the meeting by praying the Lord’s Prayer together.
"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret." - Ephesians 5:11-12
I grew up with a rather unfavorable view of tattletales and snitches. "Keep your mouth shut" I was told.... "What goes on in this house stays in this house"..... "There are certain things that are not to be discussed."
But I've come to understand that there is a big difference between confidentiality and cover-up. One protects privacy.... the other protects vice.
According to philosopher Edmund Burke, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing. Corruption can only thrive in contexts of silent acquiescence.
Secrecy itself is quite seductive to individuals and institutions. Information is power and those who have it and control the access to it are powerful. Evil requires that power be limited to only a select few.
In the 1960's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was constantly accused of inciting violence with his Civil Rights marches. Dr. King responded that his aim was not to incite violence but to expose the violence imposed upon the oppressed daily through the physical repressions of racial segregation. King saw himself not as an inflictor of wounds but as an exposer of the scabs left by the cuts that had already scarred the human dignity of the disenfranchised.
Exposing evil is risky business. But the greater threat is the deadly silence of those who consistently sacrifice moral conscience on the altar of social order.
God... there are so many areas where we find delight in the devices of darkness. Give me the courage to turn on the light even when eyes have adjusted to the dark. Amen.