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 faced a moral choice that seemed momentous? In other words, you felt that what you decided would change the course of your life? How did you decide what to do? What happened? What have you learned?
Have you ever “sat in the seats of the scornful”? Or perhaps been a charter member of the scorners’ club? What is it like when you sit with a group that spends its time disparaging other people? What do you lose? What do you gain? Do you still sit with scorners as a participant? Or have you tried to avoid them or perhaps even redirect their conversation? What was the result?
This short letter (<400 words) is a personal communication from Paul. It appears that a slave named Onesimus in Philemon’s household has encountered Paul in prison. Traditionally, he was understood to be a runaway slave. Onesimus has become a Christian under Paul’s ministry in prison and Paul is sending him back to Philemon with a message that their relationship is now different due to Onesimus’ faith. Paul may be requesting that Onesimus be given his freedom. As you read this, what insights do you gain about Paul’s personality and values and the culture in which he lived and ministered almost two thousand years ago?
When have you had to “count the cost” for a direction you want to go in your life? What was involved in this process of evaluating what you were willing to do? Typically, there is sacrifice involved in new directions—what we give up and what we must do. Most things that are worthwhile require us to count the cost before we decide and take a new direction. Otherwise, it is not the type of change that brings a significant result.
This Sunday is the beginning of a four-part sermon series on Service, one of the Seven Marks of Discipleship for Christ Church.