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December 23, 2012–Be Unreasonable

Contributed by Jocelyn Breeland, Fairfax, VA


Warm-up Question

Are you a reasonable person? Is that an asset?

Be Unreasonable

Daniel Epstein is an unreasonable man. A self-proclaimed “impatient optimist” and founder of the Unreasonable Institute, Epstein believes entrepreneurship is the key to solving the world’s great problems and his organization is committed to supporting the entrepreneurs who are tackling our most impossible challenges.

For example, the team behind Artificial Vision for the Blind, have invented a way for people without sight – even without eyes – to learn to see using cameras mounted on glasses and a sensory pad that converts signals from the visual cortex into physical sensations. Individuals outfitted with this apparatus have been able to describe their surroundings, even read books.

The Unreasonable Institute supports innovators by giving them advice and help in raising capital so they can bring their ideas to the world. To date, the Unreasonable Institute has helped 70 teams in 36 nations, and they continue to attract new innovators every year.

The Unreasonable Institute gets its name from a quote by George Bernard Shaw, who said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Thanks to the Institute, unreasonable men and women all over the world have some help in changing the world for the better.


Discussion Questions

  • Can you name a historical figure who succeeded by being unreasonable? (For example, you might say that Christopher Columbus was unreasonable in believing he could sail around the world to India or that Abraham Lincoln was unreasonable to think he could free the slaves without destroying the Union.)
  • In the instance you named, what do you think contributed to the success of the unreasonable idea?
  • Think of a problem in your congregation, your community, or the world. How could you address that problem? Be unreasonable.

Scripture Texts (NRSV) for Sunday, December 23, 2012 (Fourth Sunday of Advent)

Micah 5:2-5a

Hebrews 10:5-10

Luke 1:39-45 [46-55]

(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

Today’s Gospel highlights a very improbable situation. We have Elizabeth, elderly and barren but carrying a child, and Mary, a virgin, also pregnant.

It might be a challenge for us to relate to the details of this scene. None of us is likely to be in the exact situation as Elizabeth or Mary. But we are similar in this way: Like these two women, we all have received gifts from God, and we each have a special purpose to do his will.

Although we are unlikely to ever be in the presence of the unborn Jesus, we do see and feel the presence of Christ in our lives every day. Through Bible study and prayer, we can come to know God better, and more easily recognize his constant presence among us.

Like John in the womb, God has given us souls attuned to his presence. If we can understand our world through the eyes of faith, as Mary and Elizabeth did, then we too will leap for joy, like John, in the presence of our Messiah.

Discussion Questions

  • How does Elizabeth know that Mary is “the mother of my Lord”?
  • Explain the blessings Elizabeth proclaims in verses 42 and 45.
  • What does Mary mean in verse 46 when she says her “soul magnifies the Lord”?
  • Does your soul also magnify the Lord? How so?

Activity Suggestions

Write your own Magnificat:

Luke 1:46-55 form a poem (sometimes sung) known as the Magnificat (translated: my soul magnifies). In it, Mary praises God for his blessing to her, and his many great acts on behalf of his people.

  • To write your own, start with a simple expression of praise and thanksgiving for something God has done in your life. Tell what this means to you.
  •  Next, list the qualities of God’s actions towards you (mercy, power, wisdom, compassion, etc.).
  • Finally, list some (at least three or four) of the other ways God has shown his presence to you, your friends and family, and your community.
  • Share your work with the others in the group.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the many ways, great and small, that you show yourself to us every day. We are comforted by your presence, and emboldened to live fully the lives you have planned for us. Teach us to know and accept your will, and let our souls leap for joy to have you near. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

January 1, 2012–Speaking Up

Contributed by Seth Moland-Kovash, All Saints Lutheran Church, Palatine, IL



Warm-up Question

Do you know why your parents chose the name that you have?

Speaking Up

The New Year is a time when we get inundated with lists. You’ve probably seen lots of them: best/worst dressed of 2011; the most influential people of 2011; the best books/movies/sons of 2011. You can even find lists where experts predict the most influential people or best books of 2012. Lists are a way we look back and remember what has happened in the past year. While the turning of one calendar year to another may seem arbitrary, it’s good to take stock and look back.

One of the lists you’ll often find is a list of the most popular baby names for any given year. According to ( the most popular boys’ name of 2011 was Aiden and the most popular girls name was Sophia. This website and others also have charts available where you can track name choices and popularity over time. You can see spikes where children were named after fictional characters, celebrities, or world leaders. The names we choose can be an interesting window into the lives we live.


Discussion Questions

  •  Do you know what your name means?
  • If you could choose, would you want a different name? Would you choose one that is more popular (common) or less popular?

Scripture Texts (NRSV) for Sunday, January 1, 2012 (Name of Jesus)

Numbers 6:22-27

Galatians 4:4-7

Luke 2:15-21

(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

Today is the Christian festival of the Name of Jesus. We celebrate the name that Jesus was given. This date is set because it is the 8th day after Christmas, the date of birth, which is when Jewish male babies are traditionally circumcised. At times, there is a naming ritual that goes along with this. Of course, we don’t know historically whether Mary and Joseph did things in exactly that way for their baby. You may recall, they had lots of visitors and fleeing to Egypt to take care of.  But it is good to mark this day anyway.

So today we remember the name of Jesus, and we remember why it was given to this particular baby. We read again the story of the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary before Jesus was born. We remember that this name was chosen not by Mary or Joseph but by God: “And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.” Jesus means “God rescues.” Knowing what we know about the rest of Jesus’ life, that’s a good name for this baby, isn’t it?

Discussion Questions

  •  How and why does Jesus’ name matter to you? Would anything be different about the gospel story if he was named Bob or Joe or Sam? What about Helen or Sophia?
  • Why do we often end prayers “In the name of Jesus, we pray…” What significance does the name have?

Activity Suggestions

Look up the meaning of your name. Ask friends whether they think the meaning fits you or not.

Closing Prayer

Good and gracious God, we thank you for sending Jesus to rescue the entire world. We thank you for his faithful parents, Mary and Joseph. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

February 23-March 1, 2011–No Strings Attached

Contributed by Dennis Sepper,

University Pastor, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma Washington

Warm-up Question

Name one thing you spent money on this week.  Why did you spend the money on that one thing?  How did you feel when you laid down the cash and took possession of whatever it was that you bought?

No Strings Attached

A commuter student at the university where I work lost everything in a house fire.  Thankfully, her family and the family pets got out of the house in time and were not injured but the entire house burned down.  They lost everything, their treasured memories in pictures and souvenirs, their clothes and beds, their entire possessions.  Our student even lost her books for the spring semester which, as a nursing student, was a very substantial loss.  Certainly insurance will cover a good deal of the loss and the school has a fund which allowed our student to buy another set of nursing books, but insurance and the good will of others cannot cover everything and it cannot replace the personal items that each family member had collected and now lost.

These kinds of tragedies happen every day from accidents to natural disasters.  It’s funny how we always think our possessions will be there.  We become so attached to them that we deny that one day they could go away.  Even though it happens every day, we still think that we will be able to hold on to everything that is ours.  And should we come to the realization that what we have is transitory, we worry about it and so we invest in alarm systems and fire alarm systems and locked boxes all in an attempt to hold on to our possessions.

(Writer’s note:  if you have a local example by all means use it.  One could use a natural disaster too, such as the flooding in Australia, etc)

Discussion Questions

  • Have you ever thought about losing all your possessions?  How does that thought make you feel?  What are the things you would miss most?
  • Do you every worry about losing something or having it stolen?  How does that make you feel?
  • What steps to do you and/or your family use to make sure you keep your possessions?

Scripture Texts (NRSV) for Sunday, February 27, 2011 (Eighth Sunday after Epiphany

Isaiah 49:8-16a

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Matthew 6:24-34

(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

With today’s Gospel text from Matthew 6 we are still in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount.  At the beginning of Chapter 6 Jesus warns the disciples against drawing attention to themselves through their piety around almsgiving, prayer and fasting.  Jesus then turns his attention to money and to possessions.  Jesus warns against “storing” up treasures here on earth and encourages us to store up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).  Today, our text opens again with a warning against money.  “You cannot serve God and wealth,” says Jesus in verse 24.

We may not think that we worship money in the same way we worship God but, if you take the time to reflect on it, we do come awfully close.  Have you ever seen someone accidently rip a one, five, or ten dollar bill?  If you look at the faces of the people around when that happens you would think that the person just blasphemed the Lord.  We are taught at a very early age that money is sacred and that it has a power all its own.  In our day there are a number of people who prefer to serve money rather thank God.  (For a humorous and insightful treatment of this worship of money see Health, Money, and Love and why we don’t enjoy them by Robert Farrar Capon especially pages 87-91.)

From that point Jesus goes on to explore the root causes of our dependence upon possessions and money; we human beings cannot predict or see the future, therefore, we have a deep rooted anxiety about the future.  We simply believe that money and possessions will keep us secure or can protect us from that unknown future.  However, as can be seen in our opening discussion, money and possessions have no power to protect us, for they are as temporal as we human being are temporal.

The words of Jesus in Matthew 6:25-33 are addressed to his disciples who did leave everything behind to follow Jesus.  Jesus reminds his disciples that they are of more value to God than the birds of the air or the lilies of the field.  God has called them into this life of discipleship and God will care for them as God cares for all creation.

That message is valuable to modern day disciples too.  One of the things Jesus came to show us is that all of our lives are in the hand of God—a gracious and loving God.  It is interesting to note that the word “worry” comes from an Old English word that means “to choke”.  That is certainly what worry can do to our lives.  Worry can cause sleepless nights and paralyze us into inactivity.  Jesus came to call us to action in the world and Jesus promises that God will take care of us so that we are free to serve God and neighbor.

While Jesus can be very hard on possessions and wealth, he isn’t saying that every disciple is called to life of poverty.  Jesus simply wants us to keep our priorities straight.  Even today, our lives are in God’s hands and God still continues to care for each and every one of us.  Earlier in the chapter Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Our hearts should be centered on God for that is indeed a treasure no one can take away from us.

When Jesus speaks of not worrying about tomorrow, he is not advocating a “don’t worry, be happy” Bobbie McFerrin kind of attitude.  Rather, he calls us to a sure and confident faith that the God who calls us his children and into the world will care for us today, tomorrow, and in the months and years ahead.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you believe people worship and serve money?  Give an example of something you have seen or experienced.
  • What kinds of things do you worry about?  Have you ever been so worried about something that it causes you not to take action?
  • What are some other things that people do to try to be secure against the unknown future?  What do some people do to try to control the uncontrollable future?  (Think about athletes and coaches who have favorite hats or ties that can “guarantee” a victory)
  • On the whole, do you have hope for the future or not?  Why?

Activity Suggestions

  • Assemble a group of current newspapers, news magazines or, if you are in a position to have internet access, bring up the homepage of CNN or some other news website. As an individual or as a group look for news articles that would cause you or others to worry or be anxious about the future.  After you have identifies several, as an individual or as a group write a short prayer for people who might be worried about that issue or news event.  When we do this at our university we call this activity “praying the headlines” and we try to do it about once a month.
  • Another thing you can do is link this week’s discussion to Luther’s explanation of the fourth petition of The Lord’s Prayer.  Note how Luther says that when we ask God for “daily bread” God provides much more.

Closing Prayer

(Use the prayers from the above activity, “praying the headlines,” or the following.)

Loving God, we know that you provide for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field and indeed they are well kept and beautiful.  However, even in the midst of such evidence of your care we still worry about so many things and sometimes that worry dominates our thoughts and actions.  Fill us this day with your Holy Spirit, a Spirit of power and might.  Install in us a sure and certain faith that we can cast all our worries and anxieties on you, knowing that you will give us your peace, a peace that will allow us to confidently walk into the future to serve you and our neighbor.  In the name of Christ Jesus we pray.  Amen

October 6-12, 2010–Rachel’s Challenge

Contributed by Kelly Derrick,  St. Philip Lutheran Church, Roanoke, VA

Warm-up Question

What happens when we show a little kindness?

Rachel’s Challenge

On April 20, 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Colorado shot and killed twelve fellow students and one teacher.  The two students then killed themselves.  The first victim in the Columbine High School shooting was Rachel Scott, a 17 year old student.  She was sitting outside eating lunch with a friend when she was shot.  Her father, Darrell Scott, has begun a campaign called Rachel’s Challenge.  Just a week after her death, Rachel’s family found in her room a tracing of hands with these words – “These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and will some day touch millions of people’s hearts.”

When her family received Rachel’s backpack from the school, they found her diary with a bullet hole through it.  In the diary were words of compassion and an essay telling about her personal ethics – that your actions can represent your character and your character can change someone else’s life.  Mr. Scott travels to schools throughout the United States to share the story of his daughter – her life, her death and her hopes for kindness and compassion.  Using his daughter’s own words found in her diaries, he offers students a challenge to start a chain reaction of kindness.  “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same.”- Rachel Scott

In September, Mr. Scott visited middle schools in Roanoke County, Virginia.  My son relayed his experience this way:  “Mr. Scott told us about Rachel.  She was nice, kind and compassionate.  Rachel wanted to reach out to people who are disabled, bullied, or left out of groups.  Adam was a disabled student and one of the ones most bullied at their school.  If she could help people like Adam then he could share an act of kindness with another.  Rachel’s Challenge is to start a chain reaction – one small act of kindness can lead to another and another and another.  Like you could help someone pick up their books, or you could not have prejudice toward someone before you even know them.  Bullying can really damage someone.”

Discussion Questions

  • Have you heard of the shooting at Columbine High School?  Or other school shootings in the United States?
  • Is there bullying at your school?
  • Is it possible to show kindness to those who bully?
  • Might an act of kindness shown toward Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine shooters, have changed their lives?
  • Is a chain reaction of kindness even possible?

Scripture Texts (NRSV) for Sunday, October 10, 2010 (Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost)

2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c

2 Timothy 2:8-15

Luke 17:11-19

(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

There are lots of outsiders in this gospel reading for today: lepers, Samaritans, and perhaps even Jesus himself.  Jesus comes upon lepers as he approaches a village.  Lepers were absolutely unclean, suffering from a skin disease that caused them to be shunned by society.  Lepers were excluded from homes and other places where people gathered because they could spread their affliction to those around them.  Purification rites were performed for lepers who recovered from their illness.  So the leper was considered both physically and spiritually unclean.  But Jesus reaches out to these outsiders in society, having mercy on the lepers and making them well.  He tells them to go show themselves to the priests (necessary to show that they were in fact physically clean and to allow for the rites of spiritual purification).  Jesus shows compassion to those whom society avoided, the outsiders.  All ten are made clean.  Has Jesus begun a chain reaction of compassion?

Most of the lepers do as Jesus instructs; they go to show the priest that they have been healed.  But one leper turns back to thank Jesus.  “And he was a Samaritan.”  I’d almost like to add an indignant exclamation point to that verse – a Samaritan!  Humph!  Jesus is travelling in the area between Samaria and Galilee.  Many of you may be familiar with the general animosity between those from these regions (e.g. the parable of the Good Samaritan or the Samaritan woman at the well).   A Samaritan leper – could life be any worse for him?  And yet it is the outsider, the foreigner, who shows praise for being made well.  It is the foreigner who turns back to give thanks – directly, openly, verbally – to Jesus.   It is the foreigner who becomes the example of faith filled with joy and thanksgiving.  Has the outsider continued the chain reaction by starting a chain reaction of joy, praise, and thanksgiving? 

Is Jesus also an outsider?  He is praised and sought out for his teachings, healings, and other miracles.  But he is also chastised and run off (even to the point of trying to push him off a cliff!—see Luke 4:29).  People ridiculed him and plotted against him.  In the end (or is it the beginning?!), Jesus was put to death – dying for the sake of humanity’s sins.  Thanks be to God, Jesus has been raised from the dead, the ultimate victory over sin, death and the grave.  The death and resurrection of Jesus is God’s ultimate gift of grace, love and compassion.  Has God begun a chain reaction – of grace, love, compassion, mercy and hope – in the death and resurrection of Jesus? 

Discussion Questions

  • Samaria and Galilee are geographically connected.  One commentary suggests that the area between the two regions is a spiritual no-man’s land.  What does it mean to live in the “space between”?  In your own life, are there real or figurative no-man’s lands, where life seems always to be in tension?
  • Sometimes people point out the lack of thankfulness on the part of the other nine lepers.  Were they ungrateful?  Were they simply following Jesus’ command?  Might the rest of their lives – the future we do not hear about – have been lived in thanksgiving for all that Jesus did for them?
  • Why is it important to actually say “Thank you” sometimes?
  • Have you ever felt like an outsider?  What does God have to say to you?
  • Has God begun a chain reaction of grace, love, compassion, mercy and hope?

Activity Suggestions

  • Get out your laptop or smartphone and learn more about Rachel’s Challenge at
  • Give someone a “Kindness Card” using either the web-based cards at Rachel’s Challenge or make up one of your own.
  • Start a chain reaction of your own!

Closing Prayer

Gracious God, thank you for cleansing us all of our own outsider-ness.  Thank you for the love you have shown us in Jesus.   In all that we are, say, and do, empower us to say thank you for your undeserved love and mercy.  Guide us in showing grace, compassion, and hope to those around us, especially to the outsiders in our midst.  Amen.

September 22-28, 2010–Will Work for Food

Contributed by Claudia Bergman, Erfurt, Germany

Warm-up Question

How does one grow radishes?

Will Work for Food

If you were looking for an internship this summer, you might think you know what the most sought-after places were: Capitol Hill, newspapers, and fashion magazines. But think again. This year, there was a run on internships that involved living in group housing or tents, earning little or nothing, and getting your hands dirty.  Students looking for internships, career-changers, and people who love to cook now turn to farmers to show them how to turn the soil.

Why do people volunteer to bend their backs for hours on end to pick radishes, get a sunburn from picking weeds between tender spinach leaves, or cook lunch from scratch for 200 hungry workers every day? Apparently, it is not just about getting the foot in the door with a future employer. Many of the interns at farms are looking for their calling in life or striving for a hands-on connection to the land. Asked about his motivation, Evan Dayringer, a farm intern with a math degree from Michigan State University, said, “It felt good to have some work that was real.”

The rise of Community Supported Agriculture has contributed to this run on farm internships. The more people get exposed to fresh organic vegetables, the more interested they become in learning how to grown and distribute them. An example is Angelic Organics in Caledonia, Illinois, led by the now famous Farmer John. Through its Learning Center, Angelic Organics offers volunteers an opportunity to work with the farm animals, grow vegetables, learn bread baking, help with the dishwashing at the cooking classes, develop resources, or do office work and outreach. The name of their newsletter is Let’s Grow!, which summarizes what farmers and interns at farms are all about.

Discussion Questions

  • Does your family have a vegetable garden?
  • How often does your family eat fresh or home-grown vegetables?
  • Do you notice a difference in taste between a meal cooked from fresh organic vegetables and a TV-dinner that might have the same basic ingredients?
  • Do you know people who can fruits and vegetables, make their own jams, or bake their own bread? What, do you think, is their motivation?

Scripture Texts (NRSV) for Sunday, September 26, 2010 (Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost)

Amos 6:1a, 4-7

1 Timothy 6:6-19

Luke 16:19-31

(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

What a strange story! It is as if Luke envisions two worlds. The first world is similar to the one we know. It is a place where the rich and the poor, the fortunate and the underprivileged, compete for society’s resources. The rich people indulge in everything that our wonderful world has to offer, while the poor people do not even have enough to heal their wounds and feed their physical hunger.

The second world, however, is totally different and seems to exist in the future end times. It is a two-layer world separated by a chasm. On the one side will be what Luke calls “Hades,” a hot, fiery, and dry place where those people live who are being punished for something. Here, the rich man suffers from thirst and heat. On the other side of that world, there will be an area where father Abraham dwells. It is a place where there is an abundance of water, cool shade, loving people, and plenty of food. Lazarus, who suffered his entire earthly life, sits at the head of the table, literally “in Abraham’s bosom,” like a tired little boy who rests close to the one he loves. Lazarus gets to eat foods that he never had before and could not have possibly imagined. He is comforted and cared for, his pains soothed and healed.

Luke imagines there to be some kind of connection between these two parts of the end time world because in the story the rich man in Hades can still talk to Abraham, who dwells on the other side. The rich man wants Abraham to order Lazarus to serve him.. But Abraham refuses. Lazarus gets to stay in the company of the father of his faith while the rich man is left to suffer.

Luke’s vision suggests Jesus who, according to New Testament tradition [e.g., 1 Peter 3:18-22], went into Hades and was resurrected from the dead. But Luke also develops a picture of the end times twhich involves a reversal of circumstances. Whoever was rich will now become poor. Whoever suffered will now be cared for and healed. Whoever was hungry will now have plenty. When the Gospel of Luke describes the end times in such a way, it follows a tradition that was widespread during the time the Gospel originated.  Jews and Christians imagined scenarios where the insufferable circumstances of the times would be turned around. These writers based their idea of the reversal at the end times on the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible) where God is described as being the one who will return the corrupt world to the original beauty intended at creation.

What did people at Luke’s time think about the future? They thought that the just would be rewarded and the unjust punished. And how would one be able to distinguish between the just and the unjust? Our story from Luke has two answers. First, the rich are in danger of being considered the unjust, especially when they are not willing to share their fortunes.  Second, whoever listens to the Scriptures and obeys (Luke says to “Moses and the prophets”) will be counted among the just.

However one understands Jesus’ parable of a future world split between Hades and a place in Abraham’s bosom, it contains both a warning against blindness in the face of need and the promise that God’s faithfulness will still our hunger and make our hurting bodies and minds whole.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you think  a vision of the end times where there will be a divide between the just and the unjust changed peoples’ behavior in the past?  How much do you think it motivates people today?
  • How does this portion of the Gospel still speak to us today considering that most of us would be counted among the rich?
  • What encourages people to care for the poor and to follow Scripture, in your opinion?
  • Luke uses the image of a rich feast at the end times where everybody gets his or her fill and is healed of their sicknesses. How do you imagine the future in God?

Activity Suggestions

  1. Split up your group in several small groups. Hand each group a sheet with one of the following texts printed out: Luke 14:7-14, Luke 15:1-7, Luke 17:20-37, Luke 18:1-8, Luke 18:18-27. Ask each group to read one of these stories (all of which are close to the one about Lazarus) and to find the characteristics of the Kingdom of God as described in them. Compare and contrast the different visions of the end times according to these stories in the Gospel of Luke.
  2. Either together or in small groups, read the above texts about the Kingdom of God (you may also use just a selection of texts). Ask each individual to complete the following sentence: “In my opinion, the Kingdom of God will be like …”
  3. Provide materials for artwork and ask each member of your group to create an artistic image of what they think the Kingdom of God will be like. Arrange the results on a wall or a place where they can be viewed for a few weeks, if possible by the entire congregation. If you did exercise #2, you can add these responses to your mural.
  4. Arrange for somebody from a local feeding ministry to come and talk to your group about their reasons to feed the hungry. Find out whether your church is involved in a feeding ministry in your area. Use part of your lesson to collect ideas how your group can organize a food drive to benefit one of the feeding ministries nearby. 

Closing Prayer

Loving God. You fill our plates and cups every day, and we thank you for that. Yet, seeing that so many of your beloved children go hungry over and over again must sadden you.

We admit

  • we do not share our resources as we should.
  • we do not use your wonderful creation to its full potential.
  • we do not distribute the fruits of your earth justly.

We ask you,

  • help us to share.
  • help us to work for justice.
  • help us to appreciate what we have by providing a feast for others.

God of plenty, make us people who love abundantly and give freely. Amen.