This is the Way
Week 5 – The Way to Freedom
Nov 22-28, 2020
The way of Jesus disentangles us from our enslavement to wealth and possessions.
Ice Breaker & Opening Thought
- If you could establish one charitable organization, what would it be?
- In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks about treasure, and he challenges our tendency to treat “accumulation of things” as the focus of one’s joy. He calls us to chase after God as our focus of joy. What would you say you are chasing? To what degree do you chase after things as a focus of joy?
- Read Matthew 6:19-34. What do you notice about this passage?
- How would you summarize what Jesus is saying about possessions?
- What is Jesus saying about worry?
- When Jesus says, “you can’t serve both God and money,” – he’s saying there will be a tug of war between pursuing God and chasing after possessions as a source of joy. We may feel that tug of war in many areas of our life. What parts of the quote below resonate with you? Why?
“We want to be a saint, but we also want to feel every sensation experienced by sinners; we want to be innocent and pure, but we also want to be experienced and taste all of life; we want to serve the poor and have a simple lifestyle, but we also want all the comforts of the rich; we want to have the depth afforded by solitude, but we also do not want to miss anything; we want to pray, but we also want to watch television, read, talk to friends, and go out. It’s a small wonder that life is often a trying enterprise, and that we are often tired and pathologically overextended.” – Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing
- We can disentangle ourselves from divided loyalties by seeing the tension outlined above, by simplifying our focus to seek first God’s Kingdom, and by and learning to be more sacrificial. Jesus says, “Seek first God’s Kingdom” in Matthew 6:33. What does it mean for us to do that?
- Sacrifice is the antidote to our divided loyalty. Have you experienced how sacrifice changes you?
The bottom line in this section of the Sermon on the Mount is this: If we are to follow in the way of Jesus, we cannot continue to adopt our culture’s ways. We have to reshape our approach to wealth and possessions. What steps would you like to make in this direction?