Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 29, 2013 - 19th Sunday after Pentecost

Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for September 29th: Jeremiah 32:1-3, 6-15; Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16; 1 Timothy 6:6-19; Luke 16:19-31; Theme: There is hope for God is about to do; Song: We are called - #2172 Jeremiah: Jeremiah has been all over the place in his emotions and in appealing to ours. He has scared us , he has accused us, he has warned us, he has cried for us, and now he is the one to bring us hope in the midst of a bad situation. All of these emotions have personally affected Jeremiah. He warned that Israel would be attacked because of its sinfulness. God would send a more powerful nation to imprisoned Jeremiah not for causing the invasion, but for rightfully prophesying it. It is in prison that his relatives come to him and ask him to buy some land that has been devastated by the enemy. Jeremiah buys the land as a symbol of hope. He wants his people to understand that this is not the end of God’s story. God’s story never ends on a bad note. Jeremiah actually dies in prison, he never gets to live on the land that he bought. But he has paved the way for his people. The invasion did end, life did get better, the Israelites were able to move back on their land, property was bought and sold. But the question is, did his people learn their lesson, or did they continue to live without God? Some did, and some did not. Just a few faithful people was enough to give God hope in humanity. Luke: The 4 emphasis of the Methodist urban strategy is the address education, safety, hunger, and advocacy. They acknowledge that this is important because these are the results of poverty. The Greater Chicago Food Depository also acknowledges that hunger is a direct result of poverty. They realize that you service the poor in a very different way then you service the middle class. They do a good job of soliciting resources from the rich in order to totally meet the needs of the poor. They are living out this gospel lesson. A rich man ignores the needs of the poor all of his life. when he dies and goes to heaven, he realizes that he could have done so much more to help. He tries to ask God if he can warn his family. God says no. We all can read the bible. We all can listen to God for how we can help one another. We can all live a life of service in thankfulness for what we already have. No matter how poor we are, we all have something that we can give to others. Jesus teaches us that again and gain. Questions: Who do you look for in order to have hope? What do you think needs to be said in the city of Chicago in order for people to have hope? What do we need to actually do in order to make a difference? What can we do to address poverty? Is it enough?

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