Holding Fast

Because God

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

Let us celebrate the working of love in the midst of the people of God. Find stories to tell, pictures that reveal, people who have experienced genuine love, who have never lagged in zeal, who have contributed to the needs of the saints.

Week 5: Holding Fast

Matthew 16:21-28 and Romans 12:9-21

Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal. (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)

Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have each participant answer the question, “If you could get revenge from one person or one situation, which one would it be? How would it feel?”

Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)

Read Matthew 16:21-28 and Romans 12:9-21

  • How does the Romans 12:9 verse function as a general statement that the rest of the passage specifies how it is lived out? [For example, our love is genuine when we show others honor, and so forth.]
  • In the list that Paul gives in this passage (Romans 12:9-21), which do you think is most at odds (contrary) with our culture?
  • Why might the feeling of getting revenge be fleeting? (vv. 19-20) Why would overcoming evil with good be the best solution?
  • Just moments after declaring Jesus as Messiah and Son of the Living God, Peter is rebuked by Jesus. What is Peter missing? [Jesus is a Messiah, but not a sword-wielding Messiah riding forcefully on horseback. Instead, he comes humbly, riding on a donkey and defeating evil through the sacrifice of his life.] How are we often guilty of making Jesus into our image?
  • How are Jesus’ teachings (especially in vv. 24-26), life, death, and resurrection the foundation for what Paul can teach in Romans 12?
  • Where is Jesus calling you to “hold fast” to love?

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

Sending Forth (2 minutes). Ask for a volunteer to lead the group in prayer or read the following prayer in unison:

Eternal God of Hope, empower us to hold fast to your gracious and loving presence. In our holding on, give us the courage to reach out in mercy and forgiveness so that others might feel the light and warmth of your love. Amen.

Additional Resources

Discipleship Ministries, www.umcdiscipleship.org

Engaging Your Community: A Guide to Seeing All the People, https://store.umcdiscipleship.org/product/engaging-your-community-a-guide-to-seeing-all-the-people-2/

Forming Disciples Through Worship, https://store.umcdiscipleship.org/product/forming-disciples-through-worship/

“Making the Most of Online Small Groups,” https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/articles/making-the-most-of-online-small-groups

Teaching Series – “How to Start Small Groups,” https://discipleship-ministries.teachable.com/courses/

In This Series...

Ninth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Tenth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes