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Most of us were taught not to start something that we could not finish. Being able to invest the time, resources, and energy necessary to bring a project to completion is part of deciding to undertake the work. Jesus brings this example to light in talking about what it takes...

God, show me the way to follow through entirely on my commitment to Christ. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
August 29–September 4, 2016
Scripture Overview

The Gospel lesson stresses the cost of disci- pleship. One of the costs involves family, but the implication is that there are compensations as well as costs. Belonging to God affects the way in which one belongs to others. Traditional pat- terns, kinship and otherwise, are transformed. This insight lies at the heart of Paul’s letter to Philemon concerning Philemon’s slave, Onesimus. Without directly requesting that Philemon set Onesimus free, Paul clearly suggests that the ties that bind per- sons as brothers and sisters in Christ transform traditional social patterns, including slavery. Both Jeremiah 18 and Psalm 139 af rm our belongingness to God, individually and corporately.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Jeremiah 18:1-11. How has the “word of the Lord” come to you? What obstacles prevent you from placing your- self entirely in God’s hands?
• Read Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18. How does your life evidence God’s handiwork?
• Read Philemon 1-21. What person or group needs your advocacy in the name of Christ?
• Read Luke 14:25-33. How have you counted the cost of fol- lowing Jesus?

Respond by posting a prayer.

Whitney

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