Although we are back on-campus for worship, you, your family and friends may connect to our worship service on Zoom by clicking HERE or you can join us on YouTube at youtube.com/graceumcla!
Grace UMC prepares for Sunday worship by reading the scripture for the coming Sunday’s sermon. Below, you fill find questions that can be used for Bible Study, small groups or personal devotion. Let the scripture speak in to your life! Expect great things!
Laity Sunday Special Leadership
In the United Methodist Church, Laity Sunday celebrates the ministry of all Christians to love God and neighbor. As we (the people) grow in grace to become “all love” disciples in community, we gather with others and connect all to God’s love in Jesus Christ. Laity Sunday is a day set aside to remember and lift up a 24/7 reality: the priesthood and ministry of all. Every person is invited to participate in the community of healing love, justice, and world transformation.
Our Laity Sunday Speakers this year are Grace’s own Andrew Hill and community leader Ebani Abram! Ebani organizes with API (Asian-Pacific Islander) RISE, Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles and is an LA Voice Action Board Member. Atherton Baptist Church, in Hawthorne, CA, is her church home.
For Laity Sunday music, we welcome special guests, Rodney and Kareema Howard!
Kind and gracious Lord, you are the creator of all things, the author of life, and our loving God. We thank you for your faithful presence in our lives, and we thank you for the Word of God.
As we prepare to study your Word together, we ask you to open our minds. Help us clear away the clutter and quiet any outside voices so we can hear only what you long to speak to us.
Scripture: Luke 18:1-8 (Common English Bible)
Then Jesus[a] told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3 In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my accuser.’ 4 For a while he refused, but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’ ”[b] 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8 I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
What is God’s future for our lives? Our families? The church? The world? As believers, we are not called to wait on the future, but to walk into it. We are marching to Zion! The future is now!
The widow has a persistent faith in the face of an unjust judge. She does not take “no” for an answer! We too are called to be persistent for God is just. The future is now!
- What is a word, phrase or image that comes to mind when you read or hear the text?
- In this scripture, an unjust judge relents to the protests of a determined widow. Jesus reveals God as one who hears and responds to the cries of those who are suffering. Even though the widow is consistently denied, why does she continually return to make her case to the judge? Why does the judge finally give in? Though we may not get an immediate response, why is it important to continue to express our needs to God? Have you ever prayed to God for a long time and finally got your prayer answered? What are you/we praying for right now?
- What does this scripture teach you about persistence?
- What does God invite you to do, change or be through this passage?
Discipleship Huddle Questions:
- How is it with your soul?
- How does your soul prosper?
God, who lifts up the humble, give us guidance to see how we might be part of your mission of the redemption of the world. Give us the hands of compassion to extend your love and grace. Amen.