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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Today in Sunday School

Today we studied three lessons in the Upper Room.  The first lesson taught us to be kind to people we meet, even strangers.  If possible give them recognition, a smile, and a cordial word.  The lesson recalled the words of Jesus to his disciples, “Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you” John 20:21 (NRSV). The second lesson emphasized that we are called to serve.  The scripture lesson was Acts 20:35 where Paul wrote, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak; remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (NIV).  Here the lesson pointed out that through hands-on service, we can come to love those that we previously knew only through our prejudice and stereotypes.  Firsthand knowledge can give us a perspective unavailable any other way; so through service we are served as well—freed from our slavery to ignorance.  The final lesson referenced scripture from Ephesians 1:4.  God “chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love” (NRSV). This lesson dealt with the human need of acceptance and the gnawing doubt that we are inherently worthy.  Deeds done and applause and trophies won can be inadequate to meet this basic inner need.  The key to a feeling of worthiness is the understanding that “Out of love and boundless grace—and regardless of our past, our failures, and our sins—God accepts us” (Alicea Jones).  

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