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.
Both passages for Track 2 this week are from the Wisdom literature of Israel. They may sound harsh to modern ears. The gist of their message is the corrosive quality of human arrogance, i.e., when we live without humility toward God and obedience to God’s commandment to love our neighbor. Can you think of current examples of human arrogance and lack of love in our world? In addition to prayer and our congregation seeking to be an example of love and humility, what else may we do to help challenge and correct the arrogance and lack of love in our land?
Wealth is neutral in terms of our moral life. Some wealthy people are generous and “have given freely to the poor.” Others with abundant financial resources are more concerned with protecting what they have. If we have wealth, how we feel about it and use it can reveal our spiritual health. Wealth with a generous heart is a true blessing for the giver and those that receive.
What a powerful passage! Some might say this is a semester-length course in Christian Ethics summarized into a few sentences. The key part is the very first line, “Let mutual love continue.” We are called to be in relationships and live in a community where we are kind to each other in a network of support. This network extends beyond the regular boundaries of our lives to those that it would be easy for us to neglect—strangers, prisoners, and even our religious leaders.
Have you ever faced an awkward social moment like Jesus described in this parable? Perhaps sat at the wrong table at a dinner party and been asked to move? How did you feel? What did you learn? One lesson may be increased self-awareness and spiritual and social awareness, so we are not so worried about where we fit in the status environment in which we live.