In Sorrow and in Rejoicing

Open Your Heart

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

As we enter this three-week stretch focusing on Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, we also focus on what I think is one of the key questions of Ordinary Time; namely, how do we live our faith day after day after day?

Week 6: Giving What You Have

Mark 5:21-43 and 2 Corinthians 8:7-15

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 when they have seen the church’s generosity toward individuals, families, and/or the community at large.

Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)

Read: Mark 5:21-43 and 2 Corinthians 8:7-15

  • While it might easily get missed about what the Corinthians had begun last year (v. 10) and Paul’s appeal or testing of their genuineness (v.8), he is inviting them to be generous in an offering to other churches in need. How is giving an opportunity to display our generosity?
  • How does Paul lift up Jesus as a model of giving and generosity (v. 9)? What might that mean about how we practice generosity?
  • What are ways you can give of yourself and not just your money?
  • How does Jesus handle the “interruption” that happens in verse Mark5:27? (Does he get mad, refuse to heal the woman, chastise her, greet her enthusiastically?) How do you handle the “interruptions” in your life?
  • What do we know about Jairus (v. 22)? What might that say about his standing in the community? How might it have been risky for him to reach out to Jesus? [He would have likely risked his status as a leader in the synagogue to ask for healing from this Messiah who was not in good graces with the Jewish leaders.]
  • How is Jairus a model for us as followers of Jesus? [Jairus was willing to fall down at Jesus’ feet and ask for help. He sought Jesus as the one who can bring healing and life.]
  • How can this group help you to be a better disciple?

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

Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:

Loving God, you invite us to a new way of being – a way of self-giving and generosity that seems scary. It is a way of life that radically trusts your provisions. Help us to experience true life in giving instead of through getting. Help us to live in such a way that others experience new life that comes solely by your grace. Amen.

Additional Resources


Discipleship Ministries,

Disciples Living Generously teaching series

Basics of Faith Formation teaching series,

Engaging Your Community: A Guide to Seeing All the People,

Forming Disciples Through Worship,

How to Have a Courageous Conversation teaching series,

How to Start Small Groups teaching series,

“Making the Most of Online Small Groups,”

Soul Reset: Breakdown, Breakthrough, and the Journey to Wholeness,

In This Series...

Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Trinity Sunday, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes