READ: Once someone asked Jesus to intervene in a family dispute over money and property. Jesus listened and then gently told them, “Friend, be careful. The desire for money and possessions is dangerous. You’ll never find what is most important in life if you’re consumed with acquiring things.”
And then Jesus went on to tell a parable about a rich man who owned much farmland. The land was good and produced many crops. The rich man was so impressed with his great harvest he decided to tear down all his old barns and to build newer and larger ones to hold all of his crops for himself. That very night the rich man went to sleep dreaming of his great bounty and all of his plans for keeping his crops for himself. He never built those barns, and he never enjoyed his crops, though. For the rich man died that night, and everything he had, he left behind. (Luke 12:13-21)
WONDER: I wonder why the person asked Jesus to step in and fix their family argument over money?
I wonder why Jesus told this parable?
I wonder what the rich man thought he would do with all of his crops?
I wonder how the rich man’s neighbors thought about his plans to tear down his barns and build new ones?
I wonder why Jesus warned about the desire for money and possessions?
SAY: When someone asked Jesus to help them gain possessions from a family dispute, Jesus tells a story about a man who has many things, but has no concern for others. Jesus points out for us that when we focus on gaining possessions without thinking about others and how what we have can help others, we are missing out on what is most important in our lives.
PRAY: Dear God, thank you for providing us with what we need in our lives. Help us to share what we have with others. Amen.
READ: Once when Jesus was traveling with his disciples they stayed in the home of Martha and Mary. As the two sisters welcomed Jesus and his friends in their home, Martha was busy making things ready for their guests. There was so much to do. Mary, on the other hand, sat down next to Jesus, listening to him teach. Martha was distracted by everything on her to-do list, and she came to Jesus and asked him, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me.”
Jesus smiled at Martha and said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things, when there is only one thing which matters. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42)
WONDER: I wonder how Martha felt when she welcomed Jesus and all his disciples into their home?
I wonder how Mary felt as she sat with Jesus and listened to him teach?
I wonder why Martha was distracted?
Jesus told Martha that there was only one thing that really matters. I wonder what that one thing is?
I wonder which part of this story you like the best?
PRAY: Loving God, thank you for this story of Jesus. Help us make good choices, and to find what is most important in our lives. Amen.
READ: One day a person asked Jesus what the most important thing in life was. Jesus said, “You already know.” The person replied, “I do. It is to love God and to love people just like they are your neighbors.” Not finished, the person then asked Jesus, “But who is my neighbor?”
Jesus then told him this parable. There was once someone who went from Jerusalem down to Jericho. As he went on his way, he was attacked by robbers. They hurt him, took everything he had, and left him half dead along the side of the road.
There was also a priest of the temple in Jerusalem who was traveling the same road. He came upon the poor traveler lying hurt on the side of the road, with all his belongings taken from him, left half dead. When the priest saw him, he went to the other side of the road and went on his way. Another person who worked at the temple helping the priests who was called a Levite came upon the poor man, still left on the side of the road half dead, with everything taken from him. The Levite, too, crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way.
There was also another person on the road, who lived not in Jerusalem, but in a country called Samaria. The people of Samaria did not like the people of Jerusalem, and the people of Jerusalem did not like people from Samaria. When the stranger saw the traveler who had been hurt, lying on the side of the road with everything taken from him, the stranger went over to him. He treated the traveler’s wounds with medicine, gave him his own coat to wear, put him on his donkey, and took him to a place to spend the night. In the morning, the stranger gave the innkeeper enough money so that the traveler could stay there until he was healthy again.
After telling the story, Jesus asked the person, “I wonder who is the neighbor to the person who was hurt, had everything taken from him, and was left by the side of the road?
WONDER: I wonder who is the neighbor to the person who was hurt, with all his belongings taken away, left by the side of the road?
I wonder what would happen if the person finding the injured traveler were a child?
I wonder what it means to be a neighbor?
I wonder who is the neighbor to the priest? to the Levite? to the Samaritan?
I wonder if we can leave out any of the story and still have all the story we need?
PRAY: Loving God, thank you for the stories Jesus told, stories which make us think, stories which show us what it means to live out your love in our world. Amen.
READ: Jesus taught his disciples about the household of God and how God wants us to live together. Sometimes he taught them with special stories, which we call parables. Other times he showed them God’s love in his care and healing of those who were sick. At times he sent the disciples out on their own, in pairs of two, to share his stories and to help people in towns throughout the countryside. Jesus told them to pack lightly and to accept the kindnesses of others. If the people of a town didn’t welcome them, Jesus told them to leave that place behind and go on their way. One time he sent out seventy-two disciples to visit towns along the way to Jerusalem. Sometimes the disciples were welcomed warmly, although in some places they were not accepted. They were learning how hard it could be to share the good news Jesus taught. After some time had gone by, the disciples came back to Jesus joyfully telling him of all that had happened while they were away. (Luke 10:1-11, 16-20)
WONDER: I wonder how it felt to leave Jesus and travel with a partner to share the good news of God?
I wonder why Jesus sent them out in pairs?
I wonder how it felt when the people of a town welcomed them?
I wonder how Jesus felt when his disciples returned and shared their stories?
I wonder what is your favorite part of this story?
PRAY: Loving God, thank you for being in our lives, for being with us on good days and bad days, and for loving us no matter what. Thank you for sending us people who love us and take care of us. Help us to live with kindness and care for people we meet. Amen.
Weekly Faith Conversations
Use these guides as conversation starters with your family. A short retelling of the scripture passage is offered or you may want to look the story up in your own bible or in a children's bible. The wondering questions are written to open up faith exploration with children and adults.