WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY WITH PASTOR CLARK
Each Wednesday we hope to have a posted virtual Bible study and some questions to think about this week.  The scripture study will deal with the Sunday sermon readings to encourage you to delve deeper into the message of the week.
 

Bible Study

Read the Gospel of Matthew 18:21-35…. Read Romans 14:1-12.

     The early Christians quarreled over opinions. The members of the church in Rome judged each other, sometimes harshly. They disagreed and failed to fulfill all those marks of Christian community that we heard in Romans 12.

     We pray each week “forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors”.

    Questions and thoughts to ponder as we delve into this week’s scripture readings for the 15th  Sunday after Pentecost

*Why should we want to know a stranger when it is easier to estrange another?

*Why should we want to forgive when resentment is so much more satisfying?

*Why should we be merciful when ruthlessness gets rewarded?

*Why would we ever withhold judgment when condemnation makes us feel so good?

     Forgiving another 77 times seems a bit ridiculous and yet as we listen to the Gospel reading for this week Jesus makes it very clear that we are to be a forgiving people. Forgiving requires humility, patience, every fruit of the Spirit and our constant prayer. 

     We need Paul’s instructions and Jesus admonitions more than ever as the election time gets heated up and the pandemic persists. We are tempted to give into quarrel over opinions, judge one another and to not only withhold forgiveness but seek vengeance. These temptations seem to get stronger and stronger as we listen to sound bites,  listen to headlines each day, as we watch the violence on T.V. and read yard signs as we travel around our community.

     Paul calls us to examine our own ways of judging, not the others ways of judgment. Jesus Christ gives us a way of living in harmony, in love and grace. It comes through Christ’s act of grace made possible for our own forgiveness. If Christ can offer forgiveness so can we however many times it takes.

   ** When have you struggled with forgiveness, towards someone else that is?

   ** When have you experienced mercy?

    **When praying the Lord’s Prayer, asking God to forgive as you forgive others, how does that impact your relationship with others?

**What does it mean that God alone is Lord of conscience?

Have a blessed week. God loves you and so do I. Be at peace and stay safe.