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27th Sunday – Put on your apron

September 27, 2016

Download 27th Sunday Reflection Document

Reflection Questions

  1. Today is the only time this year we hear from the prophet Habakkuk. Disheartened by the violence and the harm done to the innocent he receives a vision and instruction from God. Literally, he is told to ʻwrite a sign so that those who run by may be able to read itʼ. The first Billboard! God will save the just. He is asked to trust that the Babylonian army entering Israel will ultimately serve Godʼs purpose of a renewal of faith in Israel. What disheartens you? What words of comfort have you heard from God or friends? What ʻbillboardʼ sign would you create to help and comfort people to trust in God?
  2. Timothy is a young man appointed by Paul to lead his community in Ephesus. He has become discouraged and is thinking about giving up preaching and leading the community. Paul writes to encourage him to ʻstir into a flameʼ the gifts that God has given him. He is not to be a coward and he is not to be ashamed of his youth and how God has worked in his life. You have been given a ʻrich trustʼ, a big responsibility of looking after Godʼs family. What gifts have you recognised in yourself? Are these being celebrated and grown? Is cowardice, fear, shame, limiting you at the moment?
  3. When a text is confusing it is often helpful to place the ʻtext in contextʼ. Luke 17 has a number of small teachings given by Jesus to his disciples on their way to Jerusalem. Jesus guides his disciples on their leadership responsibilities in their future communities. They are not to cause the downfall of a ʻsingle little oneʼ (17,2). They are to forgive people in their community seven times a day (17,4)! This challenge makes the disciples ask ʻincrease our faithʼ (17,5). The word ʻfaithʼ can also be understood as ʻloyaltyʼ in following the instructions of a teacher. Is there a ʻlittle oneʼ you may be bringing down by your example? Is there anyone who is difficult to forgive seven times?
  4. The disciples do not ask for more teaching. They ask for help in surrendering more fully to God. Write a one line prayer / mantra for a deeper trust in and surrender to God.
  5. A servant was normally working in the fields or in domestic house work. Strikingly this servant is doing ʻdouble dutiesʼ. And is expected to do so without complaining. The ʻdouble dutyʼ of gentle, faithful leadership and extravagant forgiveness is a minimum for discipleship in Christ. How do you feel about being a ʻservantʼ with a ʻdouble dutyʼ?
  6. The image of Master and Servant stirs up feelings and even resentments. Our consciousness forms expectations and it is often expectations that are at the source of our ʻfeelingsʼ. What expectations do you have in working for and ʻservingʼ God? Do you run away from the identity of being a ʻservantʼ? A joyful servant recognises the gift of work, housing, responsibilities, food and needs being provided for. Am I able to say truthfully ʻI am merely a servantʼ? What are some frequent feelings that you experience that may reveal your expectations and consciousness (identity)?
  7. What is one action that you will do to be ʻlivingthewordʼ this week?

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