Bible Study: Pentecost 2 (A) – June 11, 2023
June 11, 2023
RCL: Genesis 12:1-9; Psalm 33:1-12; Romans 4:13-25; Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26
Uprooting oneself and one’s family is a difficult and sometimes necessary thing. Aside from the physical work of packing up belongings, marshalling movers or friends, and unpacking, there’s the mental and emotional strain of starting over, of finding new habits, of making new friends, of discarding things that are no longer useful. It can be a great act of faith, even today, to start over.
Our God is alpha and omega, a god not only of endings, but of beginnings. God is present in the stressfulness and pain of endings, promising us blessings even as we feel overwhelmed, hopeless, and tired. Will we receive those blessings of new beginnings?
- What beginnings and endings are you anticipating in the months ahead? Will they be stressful, exciting, challenging, hopeful?
- How can you remember God’s faithfulness in the midst of struggle? How will you praise him even times of great upheaval?
We continue the theme of new beginnings in today’s psalm. Using our God-given skills, the psalmist asks that we come up with a new song – even though the content of the song is very old indeed. There is nothing novel or new about God’s traits, but there is fresh wonder from the writer (and reader) about all he has done for us. Even now, God reacts to the wills of the nations; even now, God thwarts plans; even now, God stands fast – and will continue to do so forever.
- What is your favorite line of this psalm? Why do you think it piques your interest?
- What do you think it means to be a nation whose God is the Lord?
Our faith is reckoned to us as righteousness, just as was true with Abraham and Sarah, who had every possible reason to distrust God’s promises. It is no small thing for us to say the creeds aloud together for this reason – while we too have any number of reasons to disbelieve in God’s power loving-kindness, we commit to belief still. Where we fall short in belief, we lift each other up and pray for correction. Where we are strong in belief, we buoy our neighbors. When we disbelieve the promises God has made to us, we remember that he is giving life to the dead and calling into existence things that do not exist.
- What does it mean for God to be father of all of us?
- Where have you seen God give life to the dead?
Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26
Yet again, we are called to a new life! Sometimes, the message really is simple; all the artifice, all the grand ideas, all the apologia fall away and we are left with a lone, very real voice: “Follow me.” When we suffer, whatever that might look like, we need only reach for Jesus and a miracle might happen: we just might become whole, healed, and alive once more.
- When did you first hear Jesus say, “Follow me”?
- Are you ever afraid to hope for healing? Why or why not?
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