Week 2 – Life and Death in Creation
Fellowship – Snacks (10 minutes)
Gathering and Opening (10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, discuss the following: “Describe a hard choice you had recently?”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
Read: Luke 14:25-33
- Do you find Jesus’ words in verses 26 surprising? (Hint: Remember the Fifth Commandment) Why or why not?
- What does Jesus’ analogy about building a tower have to do with discipleship (vv. 27-28)? [Can’t have half-hearted discipleship. Discipleship requires we prioritize our apprenticeship to Jesus as higher than anything else i.e. our reputation, our dreams, our status.]
- What do we learn about what needs to be sacrificed in order to be a disciple (or apprentice) to Jesus from this passage (v.33)? [Allegiances, status - image of respectability (those who “carry crosses were criminals” and a half-built tower would look ridiculous), possessions, etc.]
- How are sacrifice and generosity essential characteristics of the life of discipleship? How does’ Jesus’ message about the cost of discipleship connect with how disciples approach profit? [Means don’t justify the ends. People have more value than profits. Profits, when used for the benefit of the common good, positively contribute providing safety nets and aid to those in need.]
- What guidance would you give to a church member who’s is struggling with how his or her company profits from deforestation? [There is a value in providing jobs, but economic greed harms the earth and often the poor are impacted most.]
- How can your church practice ecological stewardship? [Promote recycling as an act of compassion and ecological stewardship. Use recycled goods instead of Styrofoam. And so on.]
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). Before ending in prayer, spend at least one minute in silence:
God who lifts up the humble, we confess that we have contributed to and enabled systems that have harmed the earth and others made in your image. Give us guidance to see how we might be part of your mission of the redemption of the world. Give us the eyes to see where harm is being done. Give us the ears to hear from those who are positively and negatively impacted by economic growth. Give us the lips to advocate for just policies. Give us the hands of compassion to extend your love and grace. Amen.