The Spirit Abides

Abiding in the Reign

Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

God is doing a new thing among us. In our congregations across the globe, the Holy Spirit is breathing new life into fresh ideas, innovations, and creative demonstrations of faithfulness among us. Multiple scripture passages this week refer to the new things that God is doing, be it the “latter splendor of this house” in Haggai, the joyful and fearful anticipation of Christ’s coming in 2 Thessalonians, or the enduring reality of the resurrection in Luke 20.

Week 2 - The Spirit Abides

Luke 20:27-38

Fellowship – Snacks (10 minutes)

Gathering and Opening (10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, discuss the following: “How do you handle disappointment? To whom do you go and why?”

Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)

Read: Luke 20:27-38

  • What do you already know about the Sadducees? [They were the religious elite who derived much of their power and influence through the Temple. Sticking mostly with the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, they did not believe in resurrection, as is pointed out by Luke 20:27. This is one of the distinguishing marks between them and the Pharisees, who did believe in resurrection.] Why is the Sadducees’ question to Jesus a trick question? [They are trying to show the absurdity of the idea of resurrection. How could there be resurrection in which many men had the same wife?]
  • How would you summarize Jesus’ answer to the Sadducees trick question? [Just because you cannot imagine it does not negate the existence of the age to come. Things then will not be as they are now. God has got all this figured out, even if we do not. God is the God of the living.]
  • Why would it be important for Jesus to quote to the Sadducees from Moses? [See note above on Sadducees.]
  • As we saw in last week’s session, there is an “already” and “not yet” aspect to the kingdom/reign of God. We await God’s kingdom/reign coming in fullness and are invited by God to live now in light of what will come. How might this ease any anxiety or fears we have when it comes to facing difficult circumstances? [We can be confident that God is the God who holds the future, and we can trust that God will guide us and others toward abundant life because we trust that God is working within us, despite our flaws.]
  • How is choosing to abide in the Spirit both challenging and comforting? [It is challenging to believe in and have hope for what we cannot see. It is comforting to trust that one more powerful than we holds the future.]
  • How does choosing to abide in the Spirit shape our values, hopes, and patterns for living (how and where we shop, how we spend our leisure time, how we manage our time-making time for worship, prayer, Bible study, etc.)?

Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.

Sending Forth (2 minutes). Before ending in prayer, spend at least one minute in silence:

God of resurrection and new life, we give you praise for how you continue to abide with us and empower us to be more than we can image. Give us the courage to trust that you can and will use us to invite others into your kingdom. May we walk boldly in your Spirit this week. Amen.

In This Series...

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Reign of Christ/Christ the King Sunday, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes