Getting to Know You: Describe a time when you received “help” in someway from someone else [specifically human – not just “God sightings” here, though of course all good gifts come from God!]. Did you agree with the giver about your need for that “help”? What did that feel like? Did it make you feel small or dignified?
Before you begin, try to write out your own definition of poverty.
**A good supplemental resource in preparing for this week’s sermons are two videos on Right Now Media, which you can find here: HWOH video part 1 & 2 [https://www.rightnow.org/Media/Series/2881] If you do not have a Right Now Media account, you can get free access by emailing Lisa Wells firstname.lastname@example.org.**
Getting to Know the Bible:
1) Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-26
a. Where do “the poor” show up in this passage?
b. For good measure, reread vs. 22-26. What does this passage reveal to you about God’s heart? What would it mean for you to grow more into a person after God’s own heart in this regard?
c. How does this passage challenge both conservative and liberal viewpoints? How does this passage challenge “the poor”? How does this passage dignify “the poor”?
2) Applying Myself to this Message:
a. Consider your own social/racial/economic privileges [in what ways are you considered more honorable in our society] in contrast to the “poor” [“inferior members”] in these arenas. [For further challenge, consider reading the following essay about privilege and use this as an example exercise for yourself as you consider your own privileges: https://www.isr.umich.edu/home/diversity/resources/white-privilege.pdf]
b. Consider your own poverty. Even with your “wealth” in social/racial/economic arenas, in what ways are you poor and in need of receiving help?
3) Read Matthew 25:31-46
a. What does this passage tell us about who the poor are? Who are the hungry, thirsty, strangers, and naked? Think creatively.
b. How does Jesus’ identification with the poor and as His family challenge how you currently and in the past have thought about the poor?
c. How does this passage dignify “the poor”?
4) Applying Myself to this Message:
a. Consider times you have encountered the hungry, thirsty, strangers, and naked. Try to list a few times you have both helped these people and disregarded these people. Try to think of one person in these categories you encounter on a regular basis. What is one way you could shift your thinking about them to appreciate their identity and familial relationship with Christ? How will that transform your behavior?