Sermon Study Guide – St. Thomas’ Church, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

(Date: 11 Nov 2012) “Rich tights and poor mites”

Our Sunday readings spoke of riches and poverty: about the riches of the Son of God, shared with fallen humanity in the poverty of the servant life of Jesus Christ, the son of man. They also told of when Jesus was viewing all the people coming up to make their offerings and how He noticed one woman in particular: the one who gave the smallest amount but the biggest gift. This week we will think about the nature of giving.

Jesus said…”she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mk 13:44)

1. If you were a religious leader/person who heard Jesus’ warning in verses 38-44, how would you have felt? What is Jesus’ point in contrasting their situation with that of the poor widow? What kind of faith did the widow possess in order to give the way she did?

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Leader’s Guide: Whom did your parents tell you to avoid growing up? Do you know more rich uncles or poor widows? Do you treat them any differently? If so, how? How does the way you give financial offerings affect your faith? Many people try to use religion to make themselves look good. How have you been tempted to do so? What small thing of yours could you turn into something great by giving it to God: Money? Time? Talent? Love? Other?

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“Christ…will appear a second time…to save those who are eagerly waiting for him”. (Heb 9:28)

2. What did you eagerly wait for as you were growing up? What do you eagerly await now? How do we cultivate an “eager waiting” for Christ? What would that look like in your life?

_____________________________________________________________________ Leader’s Guide: The author of the letter to the Hebrews uses a tonne of Old Testament illustrations to explain the meaning of Christ’s death to religious Jews. What analogies might clarify this with non-religious people today? Imagine if Peter Mansbridge did a report on the results of Jesus’ death and resurrection on the CBC National News tonight. What might the response be? How can we connect the good news of Jesus to people we know in our IT age? When you tell people that Christ died to take away their sins, what responses do you get? Sincere gratitude? Lazy indifference? Zealous devotion? What would help your message to have more impact? __________________________________________________________________

A Prayer for Remembrance Week ALMIGHTY Father, who of thy great love to all people didst give thy dearly beloved Son to die for us; Grant that we may always remember that through his Cross our sins are put away, and remembered no more against us, and that, cleansed by his Blood, and mindful of his sufferings, we may take up our cross daily, and follow him in newness of life, until we come to his everlasting kingdom; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hebrews 9:24-28 and Mark 12:38-44

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