Lesson 9: October 29, 2017
God’s Covenant with the Returned Exiles: Nehemiah 9:32-38; 10:28-29
Teaching Strategy: Brainstorm the form and content of a national prayer of repentance for today, with a view toward using the same for class participation on the next National Day of Prayer (U.S., May 3, 2018).
This week’s scripture lesson includes a description of the Israelites’ continued wrongdoing – and their recommitment to following God’s ways because of God’s faithfulness and repeated forgiveness. Noteworthy is the corporate confession of the people and the people’s leaders, the description of how we have sinned, rather than confessions by individuals of their personal sins. “You have been just in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly; our kings, our officials, our priests, and our ancestors have not kept your law or heeded the commandments and the warnings that you gave them” (vv. 33-34).
Invite participants to think about wrongdoing at the level of society – whether in a community, state, nation, or global context. How do the ways that we live together fall short of God’s justice and righteousness? In what ways have we failed to treat the “least of these,” our brothers and sisters, as children of God?
A few examples to stimulate your thinking….
- Racism? How Will the Church Reckon with Charlottesville; Air Force Academy Head: Show Respect or Get Out; Hate Rising: White Supremacy’s Rise in the U.S.
- Inequality? Record Inequality: The Top 1% Controls 38.6% of America’s Wealth ; Median Wealth of Black Americans ‘Will Fall to Zero by 2053’, Warns New Report
- Sexual Harassment? Millions of Women Say ‘Me too’ About Sexual Harassment
- Recovery from Disaster? What Every American Needs to Know About Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Disaster
- Rohingya Refugees? Discussing the Rohingya Refugee Crisis; There’s Only One Conclusion on the Rohingya in Myanmar: It’s Genocide
- Hunger? World Hunger Again on the Rise, Driven by Conflict and Climate Change