Saturday, September 28, 2013

October 6, 2013 - 20th Sunday After Pentecost

Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for October 6th: Lamentations 1:1-16; Psalm 137; 2 Timothy 1:1-14; Luke 17:5-10; theme: World Communion Sunday; song: Standing on the Promises – UMH 374 Psalm 137: This is the cry of a slave culture, who has been taken away from the meaning of their land, and forced to take a new life – a life which they have no control over. They can’t worship in their own space, they are confused. They are trying to put the pieces together, but life is just not the same. This is a psalm of lament, but it goes further than that. The Isrealites ask for vengeance. They want their enemies to pay for the pain that they have put upon them. There is a five part structure to these kinds of laments: cry to God, a description of the problem, profession that God is faithful; a request for God to intervene, and a promise to praise God for what he does. It is okay for us to be angry and to ask for God to intervene in our troubles, but what does Jesus tell us to do for our enemies? What place does forgiveness play in our cries for help? Luke: This is a story of faith. This is a story of what it means to have faith. It is a reminder that faith is not about our will, it is about God’s will. It is not about what we can do, it is about what Jesus can do. We don’t have to understand how Jesus does it, we just have to mildly believe that he can, and we will witness big results in our life. A little faith is just as much as a lot of faith. We cannot measure how much faith works. There are probably a lot of times in our lives when we feel that if we just had more faith things would turn out. We would do better and results would be better. Jesus has to remind the disciples and us that is not what faith is all about. We think that we have to study the bible all of the time, we have to be in church every Sunday, we have to participate in every outreach activity; we have to do all that we can to earn our faith. Jesus says that it does not take all of that. We do those things in response to what Jesus has done, not to make him do it. We can’t make Jesus do anything it is all a fee gift of grace. Questions: Are you able to bring all of your concerns and emotions to God? Can you truly tell God when you are angry? Does being honest help you to forgive those who wrong you? How much faith do you have in Jesus? When your prayers are answered who gets the credit – Jesus or your faith? What do you need to do to have more faith ?

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