September 4, 2016

In our reading for Sunday, Jesus delivers the especially difficult teaching about hating family members and life itself in order to be true disciples.  He seems to be saying that our earthly attachments and possessions get in the way of discipleship.  So, what does it mean to be a disciple?  What is the cost of discipleship?  How do we maintain our “saltiness?”

August 28, 2016

In our reading for Sunday, Luke presents Jesus’ 4th conflict over Sabbath observance and his 3rd meal with a Pharisee.  Here, under hostile observation, Jesus once again heals someone on the Sabbath.  Then he uses table fellowship as a means to teach about the priorities of God’s commonwealth.  What characterizes the reign of God?

August 21, 2016

In our reading for Sunday, Jesus has just healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath, which you know didn’t sit well with the authorities.  But instead of directly engaging their concerns, he tells a couple of parables:  the parable of the mustard seed and the parable of the yeast.  Then he tells us all to strive to enter the narrow door. . . .  We will consider questions about how the kingdom of God can be so expansive and ever-widening (like the mustard seed and yeast), and yet how the entrance can be so narrow and seemingly exclusive.  General themes are spiritual growth, persistence, and unparalleled welcome.

August 14, 2016

In our reading for Sunday, Jesus tells us he comes to bring division rather than peace.  How do we—who are committed to peacemaking—square this with our faith?  Jesus brings no peaceful complicity with the status quo.  He names injustice.  He stands up for the oppressed.  He is willing to cause division and discomfort in order to advocate for greater justice.  And we are called to do the same. . . .

August 7, 2016

In our reading for Sunday, Jesus offers a commentary on our scripture from last week:  the Parable of the Rich Fool.  This reading encourages us not to worry about superficial and transient things.  We are encouraged to clear our eyes and focus on richness toward God, richness toward one another, and lasting treasure.  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”