Monthly Archives: July 2016

July 26, 2016 Psalm 120, Luke 16 10:18, Psalm 122 (17)

We began talking about how we live in retirement. Some cultures like Tanzanian where children care for their elderly parents. We live with the help of our friends today. Can you take this to different cultures. Is it having money or is it the love of money. Maybe it is the love of material things. In the US having money is a sign of faithfulness or is it only our selfishness. The verses about divorce and adultery are in an insert in the text. Verse 16 says that John was the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Verse 18 was an argument between two groups of rabbis, Hillel and Samuel, one who taught that divorce is very hard to do, the other made it very easy to be divorced. Is V 18 the specific law that was being discussed. Luther said that the law drives us to Jesus who provides us the way to life. How do we interpret the Bible: as an absolute that we need to follow to the letter of the law; or is it irrelevant because it is to hard to interpret so we ignore it and become an atheist; or is it all explained by the grace Jesus brought to us. Chuck talked about word alone and how it appears to be promoted by a fantastic preacher who convinced lots of people and now is in ruins. Divorce has been difficult for the community as well as the individuals. How should the community or family be treated or cared for in these circumstances. In those days in some cases divorce was very easy for the man and the woman received nothing and was usually shunned by the community.

July 19, 2016, Psalm 143, Luke 16:1-9, Psalm 113 (17)

This is the story about the servant who wrote down the amounts owed his master to help the servant. Why would the master praise the servant for squandering his debts. Jesus said that people should be street smart for the right things. Using adversity to stimulate you to be creative in the spread of the gospel. Concentrate on bare essentials so you will really live. What we have is a loan from God. We should manage things for our own good. This seems a very selfish action and not an instance of good stewardship to my way of thinking. Is the servant just marking down his commission. Are we talking about limiting excessive interest. The passage says to be faithful to your future and be nice to other people. The point here says take advantage of the wealthy for the benefit of the poor. Luke has a lot on people and wealth and how they handle it. What gets in the way of a communal life style? It may be human nature. The ten commandments specify how we should live. The first 3 specify a relationship with God, the last 7 living with other humans.

7/12/2016, psalm 38:1-11,luke 15:1-11, psalm 11:12-22, (20)

Is this about material things? Great concern between loss of a herd of sheep and a coin. This is code language for an area of desolation which may be a description of where the Jews were in. The actions may be out of proportion to reality, but that is how God works. This is an example of how God cares for all and searches for the greatest and the least. No matter how list I may feel, God is there. What must I do to get eternal life, but it depends on God not me. Luke sets the context of Jesus being with sinners and the Pharisees grumble about this. When you find what is lost there is great joy. Who is rejoicing in heaven? You can’t negotiate forgiveness. In a marriage one has to forgive each other many times. What is the definition of forgiveness? Now on to the prodigal son. Was the son repentant? What would happen if he had been successful and came back and loaded over his brother. Showing compassion is not very often mentioned, but it is the reaction here. Can we ask for forgiveness or do we need to repent. From God’s viewpoint forgiveness is there but for me I need to recognize the wrong I have done. What if the father had disowned the son and didn’t welcome him back. Is the father lost forever. Could he ever be saved. In the Christian setting of that day were they excluding people and this is saying be open to others unlike you? The older son is jealous of his brother who wasn’t as good as he was. It would be nice to see the complete context, although maybe there is enough here to give us good indication of how to react.

7/5/2016 Psalm 107:1-23, Luke 14:15-35, Psalm 38 (11)

The standard of the day was a save the date and here was the formal invite which people were invited to. What is really being discussed here. Is he really talking a bout extending his ministry to others than the jews but also to the gentiles. Possibly paul’s outreach to non jews. Maybe not! Ths may be more about commitment to Jesus talking about the kingdom of God. Are we too busy to be a disciple? Maybe this is a call to action or to work in the kingdom.
Going on to the call to discipleship  he is saying not to hate but to commit your loyalty to Christ. Does it mean that you recommit your main loyalty. You would have liked Jesus to elaborate more on what he really meant by leaving all and giving total loyalty to Christ. Theopolis might have been a fairly high official in the church. Is being a half asset Christian better than nothing? C. S. Lewis says we tend to become what we pretend to be. Is it possible to do anything totally altruistic? Probably not because of sin. I am not the one to trust to judge people going to the kingdom. Do we do good works for gold stars or because we want to be like Christ?