We're so glad you decided to join us today!
When we meet in person, we take some time to share our joys and concerns. If you have any prayer requests, you can share them with us in the comment section of this post. When you are ready, use the prayer below (source) to get started.
Dear God, the world seems so dark and foreboding.
Where are the signs of hope?
What are you calling us to do?
Wars, uprisings, displacements, hunger, poverty, and disease continue to claim victims by the millions around the world each year.
Our ears do not want to hear their stories and our eyes do not want to see their plight because the suffering and destruction is so massive and cruel.
In our hearts and minds there is a desire to help somehow, but the crisis seem so overwhelming that we shake our heads in dismay and we wonder what the point is for us even to attempt to be witnesses for healing and hope in this hellish morass.
We beg with the song writer to open our eyes that we may see glimpses of truth you have for us.
Help us to follow the path of Jesus, the Suffering Servant. Give us the courage to be willing to walk the path of depression and pain with the victims of injustice here at home as well as abroad.
Help us to seek ways to light candles of hope, however small, through our words, our deeds, and our prayers, to encourage our sisters and brothers to hold onto the faith in spite of the pain and suffering they are facing.
And help those of us who are among the fortunate ones, who have enough bread to eat, good health, and who live in relative peace, to open our heart to learn from our sisters and brothers who are living lives of grace and forgiveness in the horrid circumstances which surround them. O God, help us to light one candle rather than to curse the darkness.
We pray this in the name of Jesus, who knows what being a light in this dark world is all about.
This week's lesson is on Job 42:1-6, 10-17.
We're so happy you decided to join us today!
When we meet together in person, we share our joys and concerns before we focus on our Sunday school lesson. Think about your needs and concerns right now and think about those who are struggling with sickness and loss. If you like, you can share them in the comments.
Today’s lesson is from the Old Testament book of Job. It is about the times that suffering and tragedy come into our lives and what we should say and think about God during those times. It is also about how best to be a friend to those who are going through such times.
The following prayer is from the Presbyterian Church (USA) website:
Holy One, you are our comfort and strength in times of sudden disaster, crisis, or chaos. Surround us now with your grace and peace through storm or earthquake, fire or flood.
By your Spirit, lift up those who have fallen, sustain those who work to rescue or rebuild, and fill us with the hope of your new creation; through Jesus Christ, our rock and redeemer. Amen.
This week's lesson is on Job 8:1-10, 20-22.
This week, we are considering two very difficult topics:
lamenting death and lamenting life.
First, think about someone suffering because of the death of a loved one. How can we help them remember the promise of resurrection without negating what they are currently feeling? Take a minute to think about this. It is okay if you don’t have an answer yet. Keep this question in the back of your head while we work through this lesson.
Now read John 11:28-37. Just click on the scripture, and it will open up in a new window for you to read.
This is probably a familiar story: Lazarus has died, and his sisters, Mary and Martha, are mourning his death. We absolutely expect that Lazarus’s sisters would be mourning! In this scripture, we also see something else that is expected. Mary says, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Is Mary’s response a lament? There is absolute faith that Jesus could have healed Lazarus. But this is past tense. Mary does not ask for what she really wants, her brother to be back with her. There seems to be an acceptance of the finality of death. She thinks there is nothing else Jesus can do. If you are familiar with this story, you know that there is something that Jesus can do. He resurrects Lazarus.
Happy Father's Day!
When we are able to meet in person, we typically take some time to share joys and concerns with each other. This can still be the case. Take a few minutes to consider the past week. What joys and concerns from that time do you have? If you would like, you can share these below in a comment. Now, take another couple of minutes to pray for and about these things.
We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.