Why are we leaving people out?
This week we hear Jesus challenge those in power in his community, either because of their wealth or their position of authority within the Jewish tradition, to examine how they use their power and who it is they are inviting into relationship. While we might read this gospel story and hear Jesus telling us to invite different people into relationship and to live with greater humility, he is actually inviting us to something deeper even than these things. While extending invitations to more people and becoming aware of our we use out power in the world are important, Jesus' invitation goes beyond these action to an honest interrogation of our motivation. Not just our behaviors but the 'why' behind our behaviors. His is asking those gathered, and asking us, not just to become aware of when we are shutting people out of our communities by not inviting them, but wonder why it is that we are shutting them out. It is only when we honestly grapple with this why that we can make the kinds of changes to behavior and practices that Jesus desires for all people. This week, pay attention not just to who you are avoiding relationship with, but why you are avoiding those relationships and people. What does this wondering shift in you? What do you want for yourself in the future? Take some time to share your thoughts as a group.