Scriptures for October 2nd: Exodus 20:1-4,7-9, 12-20; Psalm 19; Philippians 3:4-14; Matthew 21:33-46; Theme: World Communion Sunday; Song: When we all get to heaven – UMH 701
Philippians: The principle lesson of Philippians is that Christ is the center of our lives and of all that we are. Paul gives an impressive list of accomplishments, yet says that they mean nothing in comparison to giving his life to Christ. We are flesh, we can’t help but to live in the flesh. And the reality is that we all work hard in the flesh. When we work for something, we want to be acknowledged for it. If I worked 12 hours on a project, I am not going to donate my pay to the church, I am going to put it in my pocket. I earned it. And yet Paul reminds us that if it had not been for Christ in our lives, we would not have the strength to work, so we need to acknowledge Christ in everything. We have to remember, that no matter how hard we work, we will never be perfect. As long as we are in the flesh, we need to strive for what it right, realizing that we will not be perfect until death.
Matthew: In his last days, Jesus has taken on the tasks of tasks. To challenge the thinking of the religious powers that be in hopes that they will respect his teachings. When he realizes that is probably not going to happen, Jesus hopes to at least get them to think about what they are doing. To at least add another perspective to their thinking. Not only are they not willing to listen, they want to kill him. That is why he tells the parable of the people who kill the son of the landowner. People get violent when you try to tear apart their raquet. When you tell them to give up their unfair advantage over others. Jesus knows that in the midst of the dialogue, there are some people who are listening and taking what he says to heart. Are you one of those people?
Questions: How has knowing Christ changed your priorities in life? What things used to be really important to you, which now are not as important? How did knowing Christ change Paul’s priorities? Is there something we can learn from him? When does being a righteous person become a burden? Is it possible to be so righteous that you start to destroy the faith of other people? How do we heal the people that we have heart in our zealousness?