Rise and Shine - May 19
What Does it Look Like to Give Grace to People Who Deliberately Make Bad Decisions?
The Rise and Shine discussion group meets Sunday mornings at 9:00 am in the Parlor. Adults from the 8:00 & 10:00 services gather for discussions that are relevant to their lives through the lens of a current topic and scriptural references. This week's discussion outline can be read or downloaded below.
Rise & Shine, May 19th
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…
- If grace is given by God indiscriminately, why should we try to be good people?
- How do you struggle to give grace to those in your life that don’t necessarily “deserve” it?
- Is it God's grace that makes it possible for us to reach toward him in faith? Why or why not? Can you receive grace because you have striven for it?
- Why does God give good things to both good and bad people? Is the landowner's "same-pay-for-all" policy generous or unfair, or both?
In the News
Officer Stops Man with Invalid License; Then Drives Him to Job Interview
Cahokia, Illinois police force officer Roger Gemoules is usually assigned to be the Cahokia High School Resource Officer, but recently, he was out patrolling the streets because the school was on spring break.
While on patrol, Gemoules stopped a car with expired plates. The driver, 22-year-old Ka'Shawn Baldwin, had an expired driver's license as well.
"I was nervous. I was thinking, I was just going to get some more tickets and have some more fines that I really can't afford to pay," Baldwin said. So, he explained that he was headed for a job interview and didn't have any other way of getting there, and that a friend had loaned him the car. "I thought it was over," Baldwin told CNN. "The main thing that was running through my mind [was] I'm fixin' to miss the job interview and get the car towed that wasn't even mine."
Officer Gemoules, a resource officer for Cahokia High School, didn't issue the man a ticket or tow the car, but he couldn't let him drive without a license either.
"He was polite when I pulled him over and he seemed like a good young man, so I wanted to give him a chance," Gemoules told NBC affiliate KSDK in St. Louis. "I knew if I gave him a bunch of tickets and towed his car, it would be tough to recover from."
Officer Gemoules followed Baldwin as he dropped off the car at a safe place and then took him to his interview, where he got the job.
His new job is at FedEx where he will be a package handler. When he learned over the weekend that he had landed the job, Baldwin, who currently works at a McDonald's, said he messaged Gemoules on Facebook to let him know and thank him again.
Prior to this incident, Baldwin took the bus to his job at McDonald's and it takes him about 90 minutes to get there from his home in East St. Louis. He plans to ride the bus to his new job as well, until he can earn enough to get his license back, buy a car and hopefully buy a home.
More on this story can be found at these links:
Officer Drives Man He Pulled Over With Invalid License to Job Interview -- and He Nails It.Yahoo News
Cahokia Officer Drives Man to Job Interview After Pulling Him Over. 5 On Your Side
The Facebook Post
Here are some Bible verses and a question outline to guide our discussion:
… That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. (For context, read 3:1--4:2.)
I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask, to be found by those who did not seek me. … (For context, read 65:1-5.)
Matthew 20:8-12, 14-15
When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, "Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first." When those hired about five o'clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, "These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat."
… [The owner replied,] "Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?" (For context, read 20:1-15.)
Prayer for Guidance (BCP p.832)
O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and
light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all
our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you
would have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save
us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see
light, and in your straight path may not stumble; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen