Prayer: Lord, I come to you a sinner. Hear my prayer.
Reading: John 8:31-36 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Generously, I would call it faulty memory. Or it could be a case of alternate reality. In either case the Jews had no business telling Jesus that they have never been slaves to anyone. Are we to think that the whole sojourn in Egypt never happened? In reality the Jew’s ancestors spent generations enslaved to the Egyptians. But what difference does it make whether the Jews admitted that or not? A lot! Without acknowledging the reality of their slavery, they would not be able to receive the grace of being set free from their sins.
Most Sundays we begin worship with confession and absolution. We need to take confession seriously. There is no alternative reality—we have sinned and cannot free ourselves. If we deny our sinfulness, Jesus’ words of forgiveness mean little.
Use the time in church before worship begins to fill in the words of confession with your specifics. God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness be yours. --Jim Bricker
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