Week 3 – Creating from Chaos
Fellowship – Snacks (10 minutes)
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, discuss the following: “Share a time you were physically or felt emotionally lost.”
- Who is this parable directed toward? [Pharisees and scribes complaining about who Jesus was extending fellowship with the outcast and seemingly “lost.”] How does that impact our understanding of this parable?
- Which group (outcast/lost or Pharisees/scribes) are the ones feeling in chaos? [The Pharisees would have named tax collectors and sinners as lost sheep of God’s flock. The implications of Jesus’ parable is that they (religious leaders) are part of the lost sheep. Thus, Jesus’ ministry to the lowest, least, and the lost would cause the religious leaders to feel as though their world is in chaos.]
- While many are more familiar with the so-called Parable of the Prodigal Son in the next part of the parable following Luke 15:1-10, Jesus tells all three stories as one parable (15:3). How do these first two stories set up the following parable? [There is sacrificial searching (leaving the 99, sweeps even at night), there is finding (sheep and especially coins are unable to return), and there is a celebration from the one who found. Uncritically read, the story of the prodigal son is misread as a “returning” story instead as a “searching,” “finding,” and celebratory story.]
- Who, in our world, would consider themselves as “lost” or feeling chaotic? How would this parable be received as good news? [God is with them, searching for them, desires reconciliation, and to celebrate with them.]
- How is ecological stewardship an extension of our baptismal and membership vows? Part of our discipleship? [In our baptismal covenant we promise “to renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of our sin; to accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.”]
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or similar prayer:
Lord, your mercies are new every morning and all day long you work for redemption. Stir up in us the desire to be your disciple in all areas of our life, that others would see in us your grace, mercy, and love. Amen.