A progressive bible study with two Lutheran pastors on what it means to love and forgive when there are big systemic issues of injustice.
First Reading: Genesis 45:3-11, 15
3Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.
4Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’ ” 15And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.
Psalm: Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40
The lowly shall possess the land; they will delight in abundance of peace. (Ps. 37:11) 1Do not be provoked by | evildoers; do not be jealous of those | who do wrong. 2For they shall soon wither | like the grass, and like the green grass | fade away. 3Put your trust in the Lord| and do good; dwell in the land and | find safe pasture. 4Take delight | in the Lord, who shall give you your | heart’s desire. R 5Commit your way to the Lord; put your trust in the Lord, and see what | God will do. 6The Lord will make your vindication as clear | as the light and the justice of your case like the | noonday sun. 7Be still before the Lord and wait | patiently. Do not be provoked by the one who prospers, the one who succeeds in | evil schemes. 8Refrain from anger, leave | rage alone; do not be provoked; it leads on- | ly to evil. R 9For evildoers shall | be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord shall pos- | sess the land. 10In a little while the wicked shall | be no more; even if you search out their place, they will | not be there. 11But the lowly shall pos- | sess the land; they will delight in abun- | dance of peace. 39But the deliverance of the righteous comes from | you, O Lord; you are their stronghold in | time of trouble. 40You, O Lord, will help them and | rescue them; you will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them, because in you | they seek refuge. R
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50
35But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 42So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 43It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. 45Thus it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. 47The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. 49Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.
50What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
Gospel: Luke 6:27-38
Jesus continues to address a crowd of his disciples. He invites his followers to shower radical love, blessing, forgiveness, generosity, and trust even to enemies and outsiders. Living in harmony with God’s intent brings the reward of overflowing blessing.[Jesus said:] 27“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”