Being a Leader

Proper 28, Year A, Old Testament Lesson
Scripture: Judges 4:1-7                                                                      

We have spent a good deal of time during Pentecost working our way through the journey of the Israelites. We have talked about Moses’ death and how Joshua took over the role of leader. We are now in the book of Judges, the people of Israel have reached the Promised Land and Joshua has died. Even though they have reached the Promised Land, it does not mean that it is there land yet and they have been fighting with the Canaanites for the land that God promised them. However, once Joshua died, they have been without one central leader and throughout the book of Judges, we see the people of Israel struggle with continuing to remain faithful to God without their leader.

There is a pattern throughout Judges that we see in today’s lesson. It goes something like this: the next generation of Israelites strays from God, God punishes them through oppression of foreign people, the people realize their ways and turn to God to repent and beg God to save them, and in the end, God delivers the people through a judge.

The judges in the book of Judges are not the judges that we think of today. They are leaders who have been raised up by God to deliver the people of Israel from their oppressors. They have spiritual and military power and help the people of Israel fight their battles to free them and gain the land God had promised them.

Today, we hear about Deborah.

Download the Old Testament Lesson Plan for Proper 28

LPTW Proper 28, Year A, Younger Children, Old Testament
LPTW Proper 28, Year A, Older Children, Old Testament

Using our Gifts

Proper 28, Year A
Scripture: Matthew 25:14-30

We are working our way closer to the end of the Gospel of Matthew and our readings turn to messages and parables about what we are to do next, what might things look like when Jesus is gone?

Today’s parable, while it is about multiplying money, is about so much more. A talent is worth A LOT of money. For a slave who usually earned 1 denarius a day, it would take 20 years to earn a talent. So our master today is a very generous person and someone who believed in the varied abilities of the slaves, giving each “according to his ability.” The first two double what they were given, receiving praise from the master upon his return, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ In other words, the master is saying, “you have shown that I can trust you to grow what I have given you, and you have come to understand that was the purpose of the gift I gave you. Come and be a part of my celebration. The third slave, however, was scared of loosing the talent, so he hid it and did nothing with it. Upon the master’s return, he receives scorn and is called wicked and lazy. This is harsh, and that is on purpose. Jesus is trying to get across to those hearing the story that they are not supposed to hide and save what God has given them, but rather they are to use what God has given them, growing it so it can be used and have a bigger impact on the world. God does not bless us with things so we can bury them and save them for a specific time. God gives us things so we can cultivate them, nurture them, and develop them into something bigger and more grand. Not doing so, is to squander what God has given us, to waste our gifts and talents.

Download the Lesson Plans for Proper 28

LPTW Proper 28, Year A, Younger Children
LPTW Proper 28, Year A, Older Children
LPTW Proper 28, Year A, Adults
LPTW Proper 28, Year A, All