Discipleship invites us to be guided by Another, to
struggle with our own humanity and shortcomings and failure to live our very best lives,
and to wisely recognize the voices and actions of those God sends us. Such are the
themes that we meet in this weeks lessons.
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49How Much Can Thirty Camels
an intriguing story about providential guidance. The challenge: to find Miss Right
for Abrahams preferred son, Isaac. But how does the servant pick her out from
the shepherdess lineup? The opportunity: pray, watch, and act. In simple
prayer and action, this emissary of Abraham achieves success on the most important mission
of his careerfinding a bride for his masters son. In the process, the
servant discovers not only how many firkins of water thirsty camels can drink, but that
God can guide people to the right place and in the right time.
Romans 7:15-25aCaught in a Struggle
At this juncture in Romans, Paul dons the hat of a behavioralist and invites us into
his office. Not that hes interested in applying cognitive therapy or listening
to our bad childhood experiences or dreams. Instead he himself lies on the couch and
begins to describe his own personal struggle against sin and his inability to
do what he knows is the better way. He observes that the desire to want to do right
is too often preempted by another insidious urge to do the opposite.
Sin, he admits, keeps him from doing the right thing. The session ends,
however, on an upbeat for this troubled soul: Thank God! The answer is
in Jesus Christ our Lord!
Matthew 11:16-19; 25-30My Yoke Fits Perfectly
The chapter begins with Jesus missionaries scattering
into the cities and countryside to heal, resurrect, cure, and serve. John the
Baptist, however, who languishes in prison, sends his own emissaries to question Jesus and
the answer assures John that the Good News is being preached. Such forms the
backdrop for our lesson because Jesus lingers around the topic of John the Baptist then
shifts to a parable that connects John the Baptist with Jesus as two persons sent from God
with very different ways of proclaiming the gospel. Yet neither one seems to satisfy
the crowds. Only a wise person can discern Gods action in John and
Jesus, so Jesus prays a stern prayer of reversal asking God to blind the clever and
illuminate the childlike. Yet Wisdom invites all of usdullards and the
winsometo take upon them the yoke of discipleship and follow Jesus.