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The disciples, amazed by Jesus’ demands, plead, “Increase our faith!” Jesus then responds with a parable that, at first glance, seems rather harsh. A servant doesn’t receive special praise for obedience. What kind of response is this? Is Jesus telling the disciples: “Shut up and do what you’re told”?
No....

We thank you, Lord, for your goodness to us. We thank you that we always have cause for gratitude and that you call us not only to the way of the cross but to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
September 26–October 2, 2016
Scripture Overview

Moving from the sadness of Lamentations 1 to the thanksgiving prayer of 2 Timothy 1 is to move from total darkness to “the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abol- ished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” Lamentations 1 and Psalm 137 are both painful laments from the vantage point of the exile. Both laments drama- tize the expression of honest pain, which offers to God anger as well as grief. In contrast, the New Testament texts speak of faith. The writer of the epistle delights in Timothy’s heritage of faith, nurtured by mother and grandmother and empowered by divine gifts of love and self-discipline. But it is a heritage that must put itself at risk for the sake of the gospel and not inch in the face of inevitable suffering. The disciples ask Jesus for “more” faith, only to be told that faith cannot be quanti ed.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Lamentations 1:1-6. When have your tears of regret washed away illusion? How do you begin again after repen- tance?
• Read Psalm 137. Recall a time when someone angered you. How did you deal with your anger?
• Read 2 Timothy 1:1-14. The author states that when we shed tears for another person we “testify to our profound connect- edness to others.” When in your life have you shed tears for the suffering of another?
• Read Luke 17:5-10. How do you experience gratitude even as you live with the demands of the Christian life?

Respond by posting a prayer.

Four girls at lemonade stand

Kids With a Mission

"A few years ago, my sister, Anna, and I had a club called the Awesome Club.We had short meetings in a walk-in closet with stuffed animals and dolls. It was fun,but it didn’t have a real purpose. One day we decided that it would really make the club awesome if we followed the Golden Rule and did something to help others."

To read more about this awesome story, click here!