Bible Readings and Reflections

For Sunday, 2nd October and the week ahead
There are different themes in these passages, but they link to the challenge of poverty in our communities. Today poverty brings sorrow and shame for individuals and families, not having the basic needs for living means worry, disappointment and a low self-esteem at not being able to provide.

2 Timothy 1.1-14 
This letter to Timothy was written towards the end of Paul’s ministry and many people find Paul’s farewell a fascinating way to learn more about the great man. The letter begins with greetings and positive and helpful remarks about Timothy and his family, complimenting his sincere faith, and his proven track record, because the roots of faith in his family are strong and sure.

Timothy is encouraged to see that his faith and calling are simply part of who he is and how he lives out his faith. The chapter also imagines that faith is something to be guarded so that it is never diluted or damaged in any way and warns about false teaching and rival doctrines that could lead away or negatively influence.

Luke 17.5-10
This passage has three main themes – faith, forgiveness and obedience. Jesus was teaching His disciples to do their duty first before they could start doing great things on their own.

He was trying to impress on them that you cannot gain great faith in a short time. It is through mistakes, trials, temptations and experience that faith is earned. It can take years of experience, whether in ministry, or as a volunteer in the Church, for the people of God to have strong faith. In many ways Jesus was providing assurance for His followers, ensuring that they didn’t feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of them.

The disciples, like all of us today, can find that faith is tested to the limit, sometimes beyond what we feel we can bear. The image of the millstone, which would drag anyone to the bottom of the sea, is a powerful reminder of the gravity of what Jesus was teaching. He was encouraging His disciples to be humble people of faith, who will serve God with faithfulness and obedience, behaving in the way God intended.