Social Justice: "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?"
Several years ago at Advent, folks would gather after fellowship for a blessing and PTA circle. This wasn't a parent-teacher meeting (!) but an opportunity to bless each other around the circle and then share thoughts and concerns that were on our hearts. The PTA stood for types of prayers: Praise, Thanks, Ask (for ourselves or others, including forgiveness). Consider these 14 prayer chapters and discern what type of prayer each is illustrating. And then practice your own!
Who will we meet, or be re-introduced to, in the next two weeks?
Elijah: devoted, but fearful, prophet. Threatened because of your beliefs, would you stand or run?
Solomon: gets to ask God for his heart's desire! What would your answer be?
Samuel: (note: the schedule does not specify a chapter to read - suggest Chaps 1, 3 and/or 7) given to the Lord by his mother in thanks for his birth. To what length would/could you go to thank God for his blessings?
Josiah: purged the land of remnants of idol worship and caused the people of Israel to repent, and God spared him from witnessing the fall of Jerusalem. What would you have your legacy be, as a disciple of Christ?
Hezekiah: a faithful, but flawed follower. What do you consider your strongest character asset? Your weakest?
Elisha: cures a powerful military leader, but not according to his expectations. Have you ever surprised someone with the manner in which you worship God?
Daniel: stayed true to his faith while serving diligently as a captive (and often threatened) in a strange land. Have you resisted the temptation to compromise your faith in order to "fit in" or avoid bullying/danger?
Isaiah: called by God in a most spectacular way. Has God spoken to you in dazzling spectacle or a still. small voice . . . or both?
Jeremiah: used dramatic means to try and draw Judah and Jerusalem back to God, often at great personal expense. How do you witness? Dramatically? Quietly?
Gideon: ever tentative and unsure of God's presence with him, despite repeated assurances. Can you relate to Gideon's doubt?
Nehemiah: combined great leadership skills with great love for God and his religious heritage to leave a remarkable legacy. Have you been called to build something for the Church?
Nature in the Bible. Creation, Catastrophe, Stewardship. Wind, Water, Fire, Earth. Light and Dark. Creatures great and small.
This two-week tour looks to be ripe with opportunities for discussion. Let's get started!
Happy 62nd Anniversary to Advent and Welcome to the 2013-14 Bible Reading Challenge!
We are reading individually, but in community, following a prescribed schedule of daily readings. We will take several two-week "tours" of the Bible, beginning today with an introduction to Abraham. Each tour begins on a Sunday and each day's reading is one chapter in length.
Please use this blog to share your impressions, your questions, your inspirations as you read. Susan and I will try to check in regularly to keep the conversation moving along!
Read the good Book lately?