Readings for 8th Sunday After Epiphany, 3/2/14:
Isaiah 49:8-16a, Psalm 131, 1 Corinthians 4:1-5, Matthew 6:24-34
- Compare these words of promise with the gospel lesson for today.
- "I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands." Do you have any tattoos? Any scars? What stories to these markings tell? I think there's something about permanency here. And intimacy. Made part of God's body forever, so to speak.
- How could God forget us, when we are like a child being nursed by God? I love the precious and sweet nature of that image.
- How high have you lifted your eyes? How high is too high? What is too great to even be looked at by you?
- What do you do to calm and quiet your soul?
- Do you hope in the Lord? What is your hope? What do you hope for?
1 Corinthians 4:1-5:
- "stewards of God's mysteries." What a fabulous phrase! How do you care for the mysteries of God?
- Paul, always confident, admits God may have reason to judge him, but can't really think of any reason... :)
- Who do you judge? Yourself? Others? Do you feel God's judgment of you? Others' judgment toward you?
- What master do you serve?
- Chris Haslam says that the Greek word here is merimnate, which means more literally to “be preoccupied with or be absorbed by.”
- Sometimes I wonder how Jesus can tell us not to worry. Is he just oversimplifying? An idealist? How do you tell people who are hungry and naked and homeless not to worry? But, I think, more likely, Jesus is tying his words back to him comments about more than one master. When we worry, we tend to make an idol of the object of our worry, because we're putting something else in a more important place than God.
- I think I worry about everything. And then I worry about worrying too much! What do you worry about? How does worry affect your life?
- "Strive first for the kingdom of God." I love this phrase, and the word 'strive'.