The Bear, the Fox and the Tiger
Can you remember a time when you decided to ‘poke the bear’ – Do something that will provoke a powerful figure ? How did it go ? Would you do anything different today? What about the times when you decided not to ? Is there a story you could share with the people present ?
In Luke 16:14 -15 The Pharisees are described as loving money, and sneering at Jesus. In Luke 16:16 Luke says the good news of hte kingdom was being preached and “Everyone is forcing their way into it.”. Why do you think the pharisees were sneering ? If they were gatekeepers of the synagogue and temple, how would they feel about everyone forcing their way in ? Who are today’s gatekeepers ?
Ask half the people present to imagine themselves as a Pharisee, or as a poor beggar. Read the story from “Luke 16:19-31 aloud, then ask people to unpack there feelings they think they might have had when listening to it. Who is this story good news to ? Who is it bad news to ?
For reflection : This story is supposed to make the well off hearer uncomfortable. In what parts of your life do you feel that ?
Jesus tends to poke the bear when it’s about justice for the poor. Agree ? Disagree ?
In the story of the fox and the tiger. The tiger has more than enough and shares from that to provide enough for those who don’t have enough. What does that look like to you ? Can you think of examples of that in your lives ?
Mike refers to receiving with open hands so that you can also give, or clenching your fists (holding on desperately, but in a way that you can’t receive). How did Jesus live ?
Lastly, take turns readings bits of Romans 12:9-21 out load. Read a phrase, pause, and so on. Then talk about which bits sparked for you and why.
Romans 12:9-21 (MSG) Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.