Week of September 22, 2019: Dishonesty and Faithfulness (Ages 11-18)

Updated: Mar 25



Faith To Go Podcast: Dishonesty and Faithfulness

Hosted each week by the Faith To Go team in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, David Tremaine, Maya Little-Sana and Charlette Preslar, the Faith To Go Podcast highlight themes from the Sunday Gospel reading for you to take into your faith discussions and reflections throughout the week.



Reads: 5 Ways to Give and Expect Nothing in Return


Questions:


1. What are examples of non-material gifts you can give others?

2. Why does it feel good to give abundantly?

3. Which of these five steps do you practice already (even just a little)?

4. What is an example of an abundant resource in your life?

5. When was a time a gift “came back to you” in an unexpected way?




Views and Qs: True Generosity

Watch this video together and then use the discussion questions below to reflect as a family.


Discussion Questions:

1) Is there a moment where you may have judged someone’s reaction to your kindness as unfair?

2) Describe how the cards you have been dealt are lucky ones.

3) Why is it easier to give away the rewards of your success when you acknowledge your luck?

4) How are you wealthy in non-material things?

5) What would the world look like if more people practiced true generosity?




Feast and Faith: Reexamining Our Priorities

For this week’s dinner discussion, we are talking about how Jesus encourages us to re-evaluate our priorities again. This week, he wants us to examine our relationship with money.


Prayer -


Gracious God, give us generous hearts:


to share whatever gift it is that you have given to us;


to acknowledge you as the giver of all good gifts;


to give without counting the cost;


to share without expecting something in return;


to be wise in the way of caring for ourselves and others;


to be gracious and unbegrudging in our giving;


to recognize the abundance of blessings in each passing day;


to know the freedom that comes with true generosity;


to be happy with having what we need and wise enough to know what it is that we want and do not need;


to fall more deeply in love with the God of all generosity so that our hearts are strong enough to give away freely whatever is asked.

Amen.


Discussion –

Jesus wants us to value what he values. He wants our priorities to be his priorities. He wants our purpose to be his purpose. And in this gospel he takes a pretty radical approach to making that point. This gospel is called: “The Parable of the Dishonest Steward.”

Does Jesus really want us to imitate the steward by playing fast and loose with the boss’ receivables? Is he really telling us that we can” cook the books” to get out of a jam?

Grasping the meaning of this confusing gospel takes an attitude adjustment. Start by understanding that Jesus does not despise the wealth of the world. It is part of God’s creation. But he does have contempt for our fixation with worldly wealth… at the expense of the “true wealth” of heaven… the gift of salvation… the fruits of faith, hope and charity.

Jesus warns us to be honest and trustworthy in all things… both the great and the small. And then he delivers the punch line for this gospel… No servant can serve two masters.


To serve God means to focus on him… to be present, to be attentive, to be responsive. Lip service isn’t going to get it done We don’t need to throw them away… but we must understand that all the things the world values are potential distractions. They will become our masters if we let them.



Questions:

1. Do you think we are more distracted by worldly things in 2019 than when Jesus told this story 2000 years ago?

2. What are some of Jesus’ priorities in the Gospels?

3. What is something positive we can learn from the dishonest steward?

4. If you won a lot of money tomorrow, what would you spend it on?

5. How can we practice non-attachment to material things?


Final nugget – God does not want us to throw away our money, but he wants us to be generous and give freely to others without expecting anything back. Jesus wants us to chill out and not obsess about wealth for ourselves. Instead, he wants us to focus on how everyone can get their needs met.






Stay and Pray: A Devotion for Families at the Close of the Day Each week we feature a way for your family to reflect and pray together. For families with older children this is an at home liturgy for your family to participate in together. It is a daily devotion for families adapted from The Book of Common Prayer.


Before you begin, take a few moments to decide who will read the scripture reading and who will read the collect and closing. Read the Psalm and Lord's Prayer in unison.

After a moment of silence, begin with the Psalm.

Psalm 113

(Read in unison)

1 Hallelujah!

Give praise, you servants of the Lord; *

praise the Name of the Lord.

2 Let the Name of the Lord be blessed, *

from this time forth for evermore.

3 From the rising of the sun to its going down *

let the Name of the Lord be praised.

4 The Lord is high above all nations, *

and his glory above the heavens.

5 Who is like the Lord our God, who sits enthroned on high *

but stoops to behold the heavens and the earth?

6 He takes up the weak out of the dust *

and lifts up the poor from the ashes.

7 He sets them with the princes, *

with the princes of his people.

8 He makes the woman of a childless house *

to be a joyful mother of children.




Gospel

(read by assigned person)


Luke 16:1-13

Jesus said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, `What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.' Then the manager said to himself, `What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.' So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he asked the first, `How much do you owe my master?' He answered, `A hundred jugs of olive oil.' He said to him, `Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.' Then he asked another, `And how much do you owe?' He replied, `A hundred containers of wheat.' He said to him, `Take your bill and make it eighty.' And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.


"Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."



Prayers for Ourselves and For Others (take this time to each offer one person/event that you would like to hold in prayer as well as one thing you are thankful for)


Dear God, tonight I ask your prayers for.......


and I give you thanks for ..........


Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

(read in unison)

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy Name,

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

and the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen


The Collect

(read by assigned person)

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.



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