Our Uniform Series – Present Word text for Sunday, June 24 is Luke 16:19-31, the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Here are some questions we might want to consider in class:
Jesus starts out the story by saying “there was a rich man …” When we hear those words, who or what do we think of? Why? Do we ever think of ourselves as included in the category “rich”? Why or why not? What about “entitled”? “Privileged”? “Blessed”? Why or why not? What responsibilities, if any, go with those categories?
How would we describe the relationship of the rich man and the poor man, Lazarus? What seems to have been the problem with it? (For instance, was it that the rich man didn’t pay attention to Lazarus? Didn’t share what he had? Didn’t help relieve Lazarus’ suffering? …?) Why do we say this? What in the text leads us to assign this as the problem? What word or words does Jesus use to name the problem? Why do we think Jesus tells the story this way?
Is this a story about real life? Why do we think this?
What is Jesus telling his listeners with this story? What is Jesus telling us with this story? What makes us say this?
How is God’s justice portrayed in this story – or is it? What makes us think this? When we envision God’s justice, what do we envision? What would be an example of God’s justice, according to that vision? Where does our vision of God’s justice come from? What does that vision of God’s justice demand of us in everyday life, do we think? Why?