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.
This week we see an example of the problem with using a lectionary to go through the Bible. The editors of the Revised Common Lectionary made the decision to leave out the verses from Genesis 18:10b-15. Then next Sunday, it begins with Genesis 18:16. Because of this choice, we miss the story of Sarah laughing at the angels’ (or the Lord’s) promise that Sarah and Abraham will have a son in their old age. Take out your Bible and read the whole passage from Genesis 18:1 to Genesis 18:15. How do you respond to this story? Have you ever laughed at God’s promise to you? It could be different promises for us as Christians—that God loves us, forgives us, and calls us to love one another. What makes you laugh in a “I can’t believe that” way?
Some have said that Psalm 15 is a summary of the law of Moses. If we read it carefully, there are eleven commandments that distill the essence of the 613 commandments from the Torah. See if you can find those eleven. Generally, they have to do with speech, action, and money. How are we living in relation to God’s direction for our life? Which commandments are difficult for us? Which ones do we explain away as irrelevant to our modern lives?
These verses from Colossians reflect what theologians describe as a “high Christology” (see also John 1:1-18). Most of us relate to Jesus on a spectrum from seeing him as a good man and wise teacher to being pre-existent Word of God who became one of us, both fully human and still fully divine. How do you relate to Jesus? What might be the benefits of relating to him from the other parts of this spectrum? In other words, if you relate to Jesus as divine, how can you relate more to him more as a fellow human? Or if you relate to Jesus as “one of us,” what might be the benefit in considering his divinity as described in this passage and in John 1:1-18?
This passage is often used to create a dichotomy between more spiritual and more practical people. What are the issues revealed in Martha’s interaction with Jesus? What was Martha trying to do through Jesus? What was Mary doing instead? With whom do we relate? What can we pray about and take with us in how we live our faith and relate to others?