2. Do you have any personal experience in relation to abuse? A friend? A co-worker? Someone closer? If you feel comfortable, share. Why is abuse so devastating?
3. What makes institutions like the church more vulnerable to abuse? Are we making any progress in this regard? How can we change things?
4. Read Ephesians 5:1-6. Obviously, these words ought to convict those who commit abuse. However, how must they also convict us? 1 John 1:6-7 says, “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” How is walking in the light an antidote to sexual sin?
5. If you are in a group, make sure you spend some time praying for and with each other. The following prayer would be appropriate:
“God, we pray for victims of sexual abuse. We pray for healing. We pray for deep comfort. We pray that you will restore what has been stolen and broken. While you do not alter history, you reveal your love in the present and the future. What seems hopelessly shattered, in you can be redeemed. For the many millions who have been defiled in sexual abuse, show yourself to be loving and able – as you are willing – to give back life, and life abundant. Yes, there is great pain in this world. There is injustice. There is evil. We turn to you and cry out for help and healing. We cannot help but wonder why such horrible abuse happens. But we turn from “why?” and ask instead, “how?” How now will your perfect goodness and love find expression in the shadow of wickedness? God, you are good and loving and also all powerful. Yet you have risked giving humans the right to choose how we will live. Some choose evil. For those who are victims of other’s vile deeds, we ask you for grace and healing. For those who have suffered, come to them tenderly and with overwhelming and powerful love. We join Jesus’ and borrow his words, “Be freed from your suffering..” God, Heal the victims of sexual abuse, in Jesus name.”