Week 4 – Reformation Sunday
Fellowship – Snacks (10 minutes)
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, discuss the following: “What do you remember about the Protestant Reformation?” As time permits, discuss the question as a group. Consult Google or other resources, if needed, for general facts.
Read: Luke 18:9-14
- While this might be a familiar story, there are still surprises in this parable. Everyday Israelites would have viewed most Pharisees with respect and as people who exemplified proper religious behavior. Tax collectors were seen as more than unjust. Tax collectors were collaborators with the Romans; they were believed to have extorted money from the Jewish people. Read the parable again from the view of Jesus’ audience. Why do you think the tax collector went home justified and not the Pharisee, even though the men’s actions seem to suggest something else? Do you think this hypothetical tax collector might have changed his ways following this story? Why or why not?
- How might humility be a virtue that builds community?
- The Protestant Reformation often gets oversimplified as being about a rediscovery of the doctrine of justification. As a group, define justification.
- How does your church partner with other churches in your community for the common good of the community?
- Before ending in corporate prayer, make time for participants to silently repeat the Jesus prayer, based on Luke 18:13, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or similar prayer:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you desire more than mere intellectual acceptance of your existence. You want a faith-filled, trusting relationship with us and with others. Help us to live so that others might see your grace and love within us. Amen.
Booklet: The Meaning of Baptism in The United Methodist Church,
Discipleship Ministries, www.umcdiscipleship.org
See All the People, www.seeallthepeople.org