30

June 2024

Jun

In Need and in Abundance

Open Your Heart

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

If last week was about the call to open our hearts, this week is about putting your money where your mouth is. Or more accurately, where your heart is.

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 participants answer,

  • When did you last open your heart to others in sorrow? Share your story.
  • When have you opened your heart in rejoicing with others? Share your story.

Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read 2 Corinthians 8:7-15.

“Now as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you--so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking” (2 Corinthians 8:7).

  • In what do you excel?

For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

  • Why do you think Paul uses the example of Jesus' choice of poverty and the chance we might become rich?
  • What does it mean to be "rich" in this context? What do you think is the world’s meaning of “rich”? What do you think is God’s meaning of wealth?

The goal is equality. “As it is written, ‘The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little’” (2 Corinthians 8:15).

  • What do you think is meant by “the one who had much did not have too much”?
  • What do you think is meant by “the one who had little did not have too little”?

The Preaching Notes say, “Paul is asking for a relationship. We are one in the body of Christ. We share as one in the body of Christ. It's an ideal, we must admit. Yet we strive for it anytime we open our hearts. And whether we have more than enough or whether we are lacking, we find help and hope in the body, hope in the relationship within the community of faith to whom we have opened our hearts.“

  • What might be lacking in your life?
  • What do you have more than enough of that you can share with others?

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

Sending Forth (2 minutes). End with the following prayer, a similar prayer, or the Lord’s Prayer:

Thank You God, for the grace that you provide us day by day. Help us not take these gifts for granted; help us to be grateful for your love and strength to run on. Grant us resilience amid daily challenges and show us how to open our hearts in kindness to one another, just as Paul taught the Corinthians. Jesus, help us grow in faith and love, imitating your grace in all that we do. Amen – It is so!


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Dr. Stephanie Moore Hand epitomizes grit and leadership excellence, showcasing unwavering commitment and a tireless work ethic across corporate, faith, and governmental realms. She is an acclaimed author, a sought-after speaker, and the recipient of the 2021 Harry Denman Award. She is a wife, mother, author, and consultant; and most important, she loves Jesus.

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Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes

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In This Series...


Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes