In the book ‘Heaven’, Paula Gooder considers the ways in which the Bible sees heaven and earth connecting, and explores all the major strands of belief about life after death, including the role of paradise, and what happens between death and resurrection. She shows how the biblical writers see heaven and earth as closely connected, so that what happens in heaven affects events on earth and vice versa. This is session one of five.
The aim of this session is to get your group to think about heaven and to begin exploring the idea that heaven is closely related to earth.
Start the session relaxing as a group. You may want to encourage participants to get a hot drink and chat about the events of the week. When it’s time to move towards the topic you might want to suggest some of these topics for discussion before watching the video:
Watch the video which in this session is introducing the studies (and book) and outlining the concepts in Chapter One about cosmology and the difficulties we have in taking this literally.
Ask participants to take it in turns to read out this passage. Hearing it spoken aloud rather than just reading to oneself can give a new perspective of a passage especially in light of what has just been taught on the video.
Now you have heard the ideas and read the scripture it is time to reflect on what has been said and pull out the groups initial thoughts and feelings about the topic. In a group, such as this one, there are no wrong or right answers. This is a time for participants to share what the ideas mean to them and how they might change or reinforce a personal conviction.
Some possible starter questions might be: