Adventure: Week Two
This week we complete reading the Gospel of Luke. Have you noticed how many times the phase “good news” occurs in Luke’s gospel? One of the great challenges followers of Jesus have in our current cultural context is to let the world know that the Jesus story really is “good news!” It is one of those places in life where it is true, even if it sounds too good to be true.
In our reading this week we learn that faith the size of a mustard seed can powerfully change who we are. It isn’t so much how much faith we have as it is in whom we have faith that makes the difference. We are warned about the tendency of religious folks to want to justify themselves in ways that really can’t happen. We see story after story where poor people, outcasts among Israel’s religious elite, and just plain old sinners are welcomed into the company of Jesus.
Lots of places in Luke’s telling the Jesus story remind us of this. Perhaps none of them better than the Prodigal Son story (page 36). No image is more important in that story than that of the father, who eagerly hopes for and awaits the return of his son who was lost. The lost son seems to wonder if his father will even let him come home as a servant, but the father’s heart is far too big and far too filled with grace for that. He welcomes him home as a son.
A few questions to help us think about Luke’s telling of the Jesus story for this week:
- If you were to rewrite the Prodigal Son story, and honestly place yourself in the story as one of the three characters, which one would it be?
- Prayer seems to be an important issue for Jesus in this portion of Luke, how does the story of the widow and the unjust judge (pages 39, 40) impact you and your relationship to God?
- If you were to pick one story from this week’s reading that has helped you better understand how or why we should love God, which story would you pick?
- The Good Samaritan story (pages 26, 27) forces us to think more broadly about are neighbors. How could we let that story be more impactful in our personal lives?
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