Week 6: Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal).
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In groups of two or three, have participants respond to the question, “What might it look like to allow Jesus to fully ‘reign’ in someone’s life?”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read Matthew 5:21-37.
- How does Jesus’ use of the phrase “You have heard it said…but I say to you…” relate to what Jesus said in 5:20? [Jesus is describing the life that exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees.]
- Jesus’ use of commandments in this passage focuses on those that center on how we relate to one another. What might that tell us about how Jesus thinks about righteousness? [Righteousness is much more than a personal achievement or quality. It is about how we relate to others.]
- How much are Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount about personal spiritual growth and how much of his words are about creating a way of living in community?
- What do we learn about discipleship from the Sermon on the Mount?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
Triune God, we confess that too often we are more concerned with getting what we think we deserve than looking to the needs of others. Likewise, we confess that too often we can seek to fulfill the desires of others instead of reflecting on where God is guiding us as those who are righteous. Empower us to be those who seek righteousness in all our relationships. Amen.