Living into the Promise
(Posted August 11, 2019)
Jesus gives several commands to his disciples and followers. Spend some time each day of the coming week meditating on one of the commands that Jesus offers in this short reading. As you try to put these commands into practice, ask yourself which (if any) seem easy and obvious, and which (if any) seem too difficult to undertake.
Monday: “Do not be afraid.”
The passage begins with what is perhaps one of the often repeated commands in the Bible, “do not be afraid.” Why do you think this is such a common greeting in the Bible? Consider the things you fear. Are there any fears that you might be ready to outgrow or put behind you?
Tuesday: “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.”
You may have heard it said that what you own ends up owning you. How are your possessions coming between you and a deeper relationship with God or neighbor? What would it take for you to give of your own abundance to someone who has less than you?
Wednesday: “Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail.”
In this passage, Jesus invites you to put your confidence in God’s promise, rather than the false promises heaped on you by advertisements and media. What do you put your confidence in? What would it take for you to know that you could rely on God?
Thursday: “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.”
Sometimes an opportunity to serve God or neighbor passes by just because we are not expecting such an opportunity to arise. How can you prepare for service’s call, and how can you respond to it when it comes?
Friday: “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
Just as we sometimes miss an opportunity to serve, so too do we miss opportunities to recognize the face of Christ. Can you think of a time that you recognized Christ when you were not expecting to?
In the United Church of Christ, we often say that we take the bible “seriously but not literally.” How does reading this passage in this deliberate way, over the course of a week, help you take the Bible more seriously? Are there other passages you might want to approach this way? How can slowing down in your Bible study help you slow down in the rest of your life?
Mission Moments tells stories of how United Chruch of Christ congregations are connected to the wider church. It is published by the United Church of Christ.