The Rhythms of Life

April 6, 2019

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

Texts: Genesis 1, Genesis 8:22, Psalms 90:10, Job 1:13-19, Acts 9:1-22, Philippians 1:6, Romans 8:1

Daylight Saving Time (DST) may end where it all began—in Germany. Last week, the European Parliament voted to stop the practice of DST by 2021. A poll conducted last year indicated that 84 percent of respondents want just one set time year-round. But “out of the 4.6 million responders to the poll, 3 million were German.” [1]

Though there are many stories behind the beginning of DST, it was mostly widely practiced in World War I when the “German government ordered pushing the clock back by an hour to gain an extra hour of evening daylight and, in turn, save on coal that was used to keep the war running.” Hitler reintroduced the practice during World War II.

One German chronobiologist (someone who studies biological clocks) warns that the shift away from DST “could be disastrous for Germans, preventing them from getting the proper night’s rest that comes from tracking seasonal shifts in light.” He believes it could increase diabetes, depression, sleep and learning problems. “This means we Europeans will become fatter, stupider and grumpier.”

Our Sabbath School lesson this week reminds us that “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). This is especially true of family relationships. This quarter, as we study “Family Seasons,” we begin with a review of “The Rhythms of Life.” Whether or not we are on DST, all of us experience different changes in life, all marked by a beginning (birth) and an ending (death, if Christ has not returned).

Just as our bodies undergo 24-biological processes (a circadian rhythm) that affect our eating, sleeping, alertness, body temperature, blood pressure, and more, so we each experience common cycles related to living in families—making friends, losing loved ones, romance, marriage, children, parenting, work relationships, retirement, and much more.

How do we live a Christ-like life as we enter different rhythms of life? What can we learn from Bible characters who also went through similar experiences of family relationships—good or bad? What sustains us as followers of God when these cycles of life are disrupted? One thing is certain: Jesus promised that no matter what changes we go through in life, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

~cr

[1] http://fortune.com/2019/03/30/germany-daylight-saving-time-eu/


For Reflection

Connecting: On a piece of paper, draw a simple timeline of your life. Mark down high points—birth, marriage, graduations, job, baptism, etc. Also mark down some low points—loss of loved ones, accidents, etc. Share your timeline with one other person in your group.

Sharing: Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Choose one of these verses and explain how you have experienced that verse in your family relationships.

  1. A time to be born, and a time to die
  2. A time to weep, and a time to laugh
  3. A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing
  4. A time to love, and a time to hate
  5. A time of war, and a time of peace
  6. Other…

Applying: Choose a “season of life” (childhood, youth, young adult, adulthood, middle-aged, retirement, etc.) and look for a Bible character or Bible verse that provides heavenly encouragement for that particular season of life.

Valuing: What difficult transition are you (or a loved one) experiencing in life right now? How might you encourage them from what you learned in this study? Or what type of encouragement do you need? Pray about these things with one other person in your group.