Here are questions for us to prayerfully consider as we prepare for worship this Sunday (the lessons are from the Track 2 option). We hope you will find them a useful resource as you prepare to receive them in church. Click on the red headings below to go to the reading.
Have you ever stared at the stars in the night sky? What do you think of if you do? Can you imagine all the people of the Abrahamic faiths that have lived over the past thirty-plus centuries? God has been faithful to keep this promise in ways no one could have imagined when these words were first written down. Reflect on the goodness of God and God’s promise. Then let us pray and study to discern God’s calling for us as inheritors of God’s promise to Abraham.
Verse fifteen reads, “God fashions the hearts of all who dwell on the earth and understands all their works.” God’s relationship with humanity is universal. Though we believe God has a chosen people and that the church has a special role, it is important to remember that God loves all of us regardless of race, gender, religion, nationality, or any other category. God is working among us and through us to bring God’s kingdom to earth. How does this view of God and God’s relationship with all people shape us and how we treat those outside our “tribe”?
This is part of the “hall of fame” of our ancestors in the faith. As we read their stories, certain themes stand out—they were brave and willing to suffer; despite great faith, they did not receive during their lifetimes what was promised to them from God; and they had strong character so they could endure and do what God had called them to do to help bring about God’s envisioned future. How do the examples of our ancestors affect us and how we live our faith today?
Jesus gives some brief words to his followers to help them face the future: First, “Do not be afraid.” God is working for us and with us to bring about God’s future for the earth. We do have a part in God’s work. Jesus tells us to get right with how we see and use our money. Then be prepared for action. Our faith involves both waiting and action. The key is to be alert as to which doors we need to open in our lives and when to open them. Sometimes these metaphorical doors will be large and involve hard, complex work with others; sometimes the doors may be small and involve simple actions that make a difference in someone’s life. What are the doors God is calling you to open?