26th July 2020
Worship at home Leonie Findlay
The Story “IN” the Bible
The Story “IN” the Bible
You’ll know about the Bible Stories such as Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark, Moses and the Red Sea, Ruth and Naomi, David and Goliath, Jonah and the Fish, the Birth of Jesus, the Death of Jesus, and Paul on the Damascus Road.
Perhaps you’ll even know just a little about the Story of the Bible such as how the Greek speaking Jewish scholars in Egypt translated the Hebrew Bible (our Old Testament) into the Greek which the early Christians read, how the early Councils of the Church
made decisions about what early Christian writings would be included in the New Testament writings, and how it was much later translated into English so we could read today.
But do you know the Story IN the Bible from Creation to New Creation, from the first Chapters of Genesis to the last Chapters of Revelation? Often the Bible is treated like a collection of rules for living, or a collection of promises from God to encourage us in faith and life – of course it is that, but this all comes in a Story about a People and their journey through the centuries with their God, a
journey with many more downs than ups, but a journey where these People are continually called to share God’s “message” to “all nations”. How is that Story told, what was the point of this “journey”, what is the message these Called People needed to share with the watching world, and what relevance does all this have for us today?
The current social distancing requirements might stop us meeting face to face for worship, might stop us participating in faith discussion groups, and may inhibit us in expressing our own faith journey in personal relationships with others in coffee shops etc. But it does not stop us meeting online via resources such as Zoom, to not only engage in continuing discussions of these sorts,
but to also record them so that others might be encouraged by them when they have opportunity. The take up of this sort of technology at this time provides us with a different sort of opportunity to share together in nurturing our faith and growing in our call to engage with others as God’s people.
You are therefore invited to consider joining in a weekly Zoom discussion of no more than ONE Hour to start at Genesis 1:1 until we
finish at Revelation 22:21 whenever that might be (possibly this could be even a year later?).
The approach would be informal as we work our way through the Story IN the Bible bouncing off the key parts that help trace the Story of God’s interaction with his Called People, and how God repeatedly has to “change plans” because of the way this Called
People variously respond and pull back on the role they have been called to by God, but to which God remains committed nonetheless.
Ian Bedford will facilitate this discussion, bouncing off his more than 60 years of reading the Bible and the study guides bible scholars have written, the questions you as participants are willing to ask, and the comments you are keen to share given your reading and thinking over your lifetime and life experiences. Ian is not a professional biblical scholar but a lay person who has sensed a need to
take the bible seriously and to grapple with understanding its relevance through understanding its cultural context, the subtleties of its original language, its clear underlying themes, and its potential application to God’s Call to us and the journey we are having today as we respond to that Call.
Are you fascinated enough to come and share this exploration of the Bible as the basis of our faith?
Do you have the time to spend one hour each week as we explore in this way together?
Do you have access to Zoom technology?
Are you willing to make a commitment to participate for this one hour via Zoom from where-ever you happen to be at the time agreed to for these sessions?
Are you willing to participate in video recording these Zoom discussions so that others can share this journey in faith?
Do you wish to support others who cannot Zoom in nurturing their faith and ministry under God through these videos?
Of course this is a bit of a challenge – but maybe it’s also an opportunity to get a grasp of the “Back Story” of Christianity within which God calls us to be God’s people in God’s world today.i
If this challenge appeals to you, please contact Ian Bedford either via mobile phone 0412 544 770 or email email@example.com to discuss which evening and what time would work for you to participate. A small group of 5 or 6 interested people up to, maybe 8 or 9, is all we would need to get started. And as we progress these videoed discussions could then be shared online with others who express their interest in being able to access these videos through an UNLISTED Youtube site, not open publicly, as the St Stephen’s Worship@Home videos are already being shared.
This invitation is a first step in the efforts of St Stephen’s Uniting Church Wodonga to respond to the current social isolation
challenge with developing resources that can be used by God to build people’s sense of being disciples of the God who Calls and to
continue to participate in that God’s mission at times such as these. Other resource options are being explored.
THOUGHTS ABOUT A GOD WHO HEALS
THOUGHTS ABOUT A GOD WHO HEALS
Loving and caring God, Thank you for being with me in the ordinariness of my day. A day that began as it always does with toast and coffee. A day that might be very ordinary or filled with surprises depending on how much I am listening to you. Christ thank you for reminding me that no matter what the day might hold you are right here with me always waiting and longing to direct my way.
In the activity and challenges of my day is God really here? Does he really care?
The psalmist in psalm 73 is struggling with his faith in a way that most could identify with. He commences with,
‘Surely God is good to his people, to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost slipped, I had almost lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked,
They have no struggles their bodies are healthy and strong
They are free from burdens common to man ‘
and he goes on as I often go on.……..
Then in verse 13…….
‘Surely I have kept my heart pure, in vain I have washed my hands in innocence’….
But then! But then!
‘When I tried to understand all this it was oppressive to me
Till I entered the sanctuary of God, then I understood…..’
Then I looked and listened and in listening I heard the voice of God. In hearing I understood my situation and what God required of me. A word I had heard before, a word that gave me strength and encouragement to move forward as an instrument of the creator God to do his will in the space he has given me.
As the psalmist concludes v26-28
‘My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish………. but as for me it is good to be near God.’
No matter how my day may start or play out, toast and coffee or not for me it is good to be near God and to tell of all his deeds.
Loving and ever present God.
I am so thankful that no matter how many times I slip up you are always there to hold me and redirect my path.
No matter how many times forget the lessons I have learned and
the commitments I have made you are always ready to give me another chance.
God even though I am a blunt tool you still have a place for me and you will continue to sharpen me if I am willing to let you.
Thank you Father.
For the lessons of each day I thank you God.
For your willingness to continue to keep and guide me I thank you.
ACTIVITIES – PUT ON HOLD UNTIL COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS ARE OVER
- Prayer in Green Room
- Op Shop
- Study/Discussion Groups
- Morning Study Group
- Night Study Group
- Social Justice Group
- Aged Care Worship Services
- Dad’s Army Meet-up
- Seniors Group
- mainly music
- Cuppa and Chat
- Scrabble Group
- Uniting Friends
- Op Shop
- 한인 성경 나눔과 기도회