Debts Are Tossed

Having Words with Jesus

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

Worship needs a vision that looks first to God and then to community within and then to the world beyond the walls. We are driven by the question, “How do we share this gift of faith?” We are constantly seeking ways to be a witness to the treasure we have found, to the joy we live.

Week 3: Debts Are Tossed

Luke 6:1-13

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, discuss the following: Share a story of someone who acted in a crafty or shrewd way.

Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read: Luke 6:1-13

  • This is the second time (of three) that Jesus tells a parable about “a rich man.” In this story, the rich man has a manager who has been wasteful. Now let go of his responsibilities, the manager acts in a way to secure favor for himself, which also makes his former owner look generous (by reducing the amount owed). What does Jesus mean by “dishonest wealth”? [The currency and ways of doing business are ways that are not of the kingdom.]
  • What motivates the shrewd manager to bargain and thus make friends? [His motives are selfish —possibly to be hired by one of the other owners or just to have a place to stay once his employment ends.] Does it strike you as odd for Jesus to show the shrewd manager in a positive light? Why or why not?
  • How is this parable of the shrewd manager an illustration for those who serve God as their master (16:9)? [Those with wealth should use it for kingdom purposes or make one fit to be welcomed in the eternal kingdom.]
  • How is this message of Jesus similar to other stories and passages from Jesus? [See also Luke 6:38, 12:33, 14:14, 14:33. These passages share themes of generosity and caring for others.]
  • How are we (from verses 14) also “lovers of money”?
  • Read the “Confession and Pardon” from “A Service of Word and Table” in The United Methodist Hymnal (page 8):
    • Merciful God,
      we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart.
      We have failed to be an obedient church.
      We have not done your will,
      we have broken your law,
      we have rebelled against your love,
      we have not loved our neighbors,
      and we have not heard the cry of the needy.
      Forgive us, we pray.
      Free us for joyful obedience,
      through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
  • This is a corporate confession. The intent is not to incite guilt. Confession is agreeing with reality. It is an opportunity to acknowledge what we have done or failed to do, as a church and as individuals; and because of God’s pardon, we resolve to act differently. How might you and your congregation resolve to act differently?

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

Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:

God of grace, help us to see when we have given more loyalty and allegiance to our money than to your kingdom. Help us to celebrate what you are celebrating. May we desire your desires and our gifts to be used for your kingdom. Amen.

In This Series...

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes