Jocelyn Breeland–Fairfax, VA

Warm-up Question

What’s the most important way you are preparing for your future?

Are You Prepared

Here are some things that have been happening around the country in the last couple of weeks:

Authorities on the Big Island of Hawaii have gone door-to-door notifying residents to make preparations for a possible evacuation in advance of lava flows from the Kilauea volcano. Will everyone remain safe? Will their homes?


Christmas decorations, on store shelves for weeks, are even more prominent now that Halloween has passed. Have you bought yours yet?

Hospitals and state and local governments are working urgently to develop plans in the event of a case of Ebola in their areas. Will the plans be successful in containing the disease?

Voters in Texas, Ohio and North Carolina scrambled to comply with Supreme Court action that upheld new voter ID requirements, fewer voting dates and an end to same-day voter registration – respectively, in those states. Was there a noticeable reduction in voter fraud, as some insisted, or would poor and minority voters be suppressed, as others feared?

In every case, people are foreseeing the future, and taking steps to be ready.


Discussion Questions

  • Have you ever been in a situation where you were unprepared? What lesson did you learn from that experience?
  • How do you handle things you can’t prepare for?
  • Is there a difference when you plan to avoid something bad as compared to planning for something good?
  • How is your faith part of your preparation?

Lectionary 32

Amos 5:18-24

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Matthew 25:1-13

(Text links are to Oremus Bible Browser. Oremus Bible Browser is not affiliated with or supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can find the calendar of readings for Year C at Lectionary Readings.)

For lectionary humor and insight, check the weekly comic Agnus Day.


Gospel Reflection

Matthew 25 contains two stories that Jesus uses to teach his disciples – and us – about God’s expectations. He wants us to be prepared, like the virgins who carried extra oil for their lamps.

In verses 14 – 28, he urges us to be like the men who invested their bags of gold. And in verses 31 – 46, he explains why.

The good news is that God always provides the oil for the lamp and the riches to invest. We have everything we need to live the lives he has planned for us.

Discussion Questions

  • Describe the parable in plain terms. How are we like the virgins who planned ahead? How are we like those who did not?
  • Does this scripture contradict Matthew 6: 25 – 34? What are we supposed to worry about and plan for, and what are we not?
  • What things or people can help you prepare?
  • Do factors such as age, gender, location or economic status affect your preparations?

Activity Suggestions


Imagine you know that Jesus is going to be visiting your group next week. How will you prepare?

  • Make a list of things you might do to get ready for Jesus’ visit. They should be things you can actually do, but don’t worry about not having time to do everything on the list. Just spend a few minutes writing down as many options as you can think of.
  • Select one or two of the options and commit to doing them in the next week.
  • Share your list and your commitment with the others in the group.
  • Next week, make time to discuss your experience.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, we offer you praise and thanksgiving for blessing us with everything we need to live the lives you have planned for us. Remind us daily whose we are and who we serve. Lift our spirits when we are discouraged. Give us the wisdom to see what you would have us do, and the courage to do it boldly. We ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.