Week 4: On These Two Commandments (Reformation Sunday)
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 share the most helpful life instructions they have received. Who gave those instructions to them? What was the advice or instruction?
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
Read Matthew 22:34-46
- The Israelites believed the Law was a gift from God that provided guidance to them on being the unique people of God. Unfortunately, we tend to perceive laws as rules that bring punishment if broken or as rules meant to broken. But as we see from the Old Testament, religious laws were designed as God’s guidance for living a life pleasing to God. How does it change your perception of the law or commandments, if he word “instruction” is used instead?
- What might the motive have been of the lawyer’s question to Jesus (v. 36)? [Curiosity, Entrapment, Mixture of both.]
- How do Jesus’ instructions of loving God and loving neighbor provide a summary for how Christians should live?
- What happens if one of these two instructions is left out as an instruction for living?
- What are some specific ways you might grow in love for God? For family? For needy people? For neighbors? For yourself? How can this group help you grow in 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:
Loving God, we continue to marvel at the depth of your love. In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we clearly see that your love is committed, compassionate, sacrificial, and tangible. So, fill us with your love and grace, so that our actions and words will overflow with gentleness, compassion, and tangible expressions of love for others. Amen.