Here are some suggestions about possible resources to have in hand, in case group members don’t have much to offer. This might be especially important in session 1. However, only use them when there is really nothing else. The risk of making these suggestions is that you won’t look for your own connections, which are much more important.
There are two types of resources: those that reflect on the stories of the character(s) from the Bible, and those that reflect on the universal experience that affects us all.
SESSION 1: the money-changer
Billy Elliott: the father is trying to do his best for the family, but is challenged by Billy and the dance teacher to see a new way of being.
Chocolat: The priest Pere Henri is ministering the way he thinks best but is challenged by Vianne, the owner of the new chocolaterie.
The Big Kahuna: Conversation about mission (chap 15, 1:17:00-1:20:45)
Robert M Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, 1974, p. 192. A reflection on changing routes over the mountain.
SESSION 2: Peter
“The Look of Jesus” in Anthony de Mello, The Song of the Bird, first published 1931, New York, Doubleday, pp. 113-114
Dorothy L Sayers, The Man Born to be King, first published 1943, London, Victor Gollancz, pp. 270-271 (The Princes of this World, Scene I, sequence 3)
SESSION 3: Simon of Cyrene
Michael Justin Davis, To the Cross: A Sequence of Dramatic Poems, 1991, SPCK, pp 29-31, 52-53
Countee Cullen, “Simon the Cyrenian Speaks”, found in Robert Atwan & Laurance Wieder eds, Chapters into Verse, 2000, Oxford University Press, p. 170
12 Years a Slave: Solomon is kidnapped and forced into slavery. He has to choose the approach he is going to take in order to survive. He takes up the cross of slavery, and the cross of helping the other slaves he meets.
Also – films which have a character who take on a cause for others, e.g.:
The Pelican Brief
Avatar: soldier takes up the cause of an endangered race
Milk: the true story of Harvey Milk, the first gay councillor to be elected in the US. He was assassinated for his efforts.
Google “Simon of Cyrene” and you will find lots of images, for example:
SESSION 4: the centurion
Dorothy L Sayers, The Man Born to be King, first published 1943, London, Victor Gollancz Ltd, p. 311 (King of Sorrows, Scene II, sequence 8)
G A Studdert Kennedy, “I will lift up my eyes” and “The Unutterable Beauty”, from The Unutterable Beauty, Hodder and Stoughton.
These poems express the profound feelings in encountering the living God.
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, first published 2004. John Ames, an elderly preacher, is dying and sets down a record of his life for his young son. Towards the end of the book (bottom of p 279 and over the page) is a wonderful passage about the glory and presence of God and asks how willing we are to see it?
Geoffrey Moorhouse, The Fearful Void, 1974, pp 284-285. Travel writer Geoffrey Moorhouse, wrote about his journey across the Sahara. At the end of the journey, he visited Charles de Foucauld’s hermitage at Tamanrasset. Though an avowed non-believer, the visit moves him to prayer.
SESSION 5: some who doubted
“The Little Fish” in Anthony de Mello, The Song of the Bird, first published 1931, New York, Doubleday, pp. 12-13
Hilary Mantel, Fludd, first published 1989, Viking. Father Angwin expresses his doubts: pp 48-50