Sunday, January 20, 2013
January 27, 2013
Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for January 27th: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Luke 4:14-21 Theme: Working together in unity Song: In Christ there is no East or West – UMH 548 1 Corinthians : This is a continuation of last week’s lesson on spiritual gifts. We are reminded that spiritual gifts are given to the whole congregation, not just to an individual. They are given to do the work of Kingdom Building. Paul want us to remember that functioning as a body means more than just worshipping together. We have to be in service together, and we have to do the business of the church together. But whatever we do is for the good of God and for the good of all people. Learning to use our gifts, is the beginning of unity. Unity does not mean that we think the same, it means that we respect our differences. In the church there are a lot of differences. John Wesley ways in nonessential things there is diversity, but Jesus us the essential, and there should be unity in our commitment to God. It is interesting that unity is not a natural ocurence, it is something that we have to pray about and practice. Luke: If Jesus baptism was the beginning of is public vow, this scene is the end of his public vow to serve God. Jesus has spent his time in the wilderness, the temptations came to him, and he realized that with the power of the Holy Spirit, he was able to overcome them. His service was for God’s needs and not his. He is feeling rejoiced over him calling. The first thing that he does when he is out of the wilderness is to go to temple. He reads the scriptures. But he announces his call to the rest of the world – I have been called to preach good news to the poor, recovering of sight to the blind, and to release the prisoner. People may not understand his job, they may not always support it. But Jesus knows that if he follows God, then his work will be accomplished. If we follow Jesus, we are following God. We have the same ministry today. We have the strength of Christ vow to help us to succeed. Questions: How do you see unity in our congregation? How do you see diversity? What tools do you all use to bring unity? What gifts are present in your congregation? What do you think about Jesus mission to help those in need? How well do you follow in Jesus footsteps? How do you accept those who stand up and say they have been called? What support do you give them? How are you using your gifts to build the kingdom?