Proverbs 3:1-26; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Mark 4:1-34 // Jer. 31:31-34; Psalm 119:33-40; 1
Corinthians 2:7-11; Mark 4:10-12
Jesus taught by performing signs and wonders, meant to shatter our old worldview, and through parables – mini-stories about ordinary life – that were intentionally open to many interpretations. What does it mean that God, who has a focused though multi-faceted message to impart, relies on our capacity to interpret the Living Word to get that message across?
On Sunday we looked at some of the miracle stories in the Bible. Miracles, signs and wonders, were normal ways of experiencing and talking about the world in pre-scientific days. And they remain important ways to describe the mysterious power of God at work in the world. The question is not whether we “believe in” miracles in a factual way, but whether we’re open to the awe and wonder direct encounters with God bring about in us. Miracle stories are meant to take us out of our normal worldview and heart space into a whole new realm of possibility and hope for the Kingdom come. Are you willing to have your mind blown and your heart melted so that you can come to the kind of transformative faith Jesus knew and our world needs?
2 Samuel 11:26-12:15; John 2:1-12; Mark 1:21-28 // Exodus 4:6-9; Psalm 29
What do you think about the signs, wonders, and miracles told about in the Bible? How are those stories meant to guide our faith today?
On Sunday, we walked the road with Jesus through his temptation in the wilderness, as admiration for him turned to hostility in his hometown when he said the inheritance of a faith tradition is not a “key to the Kingdom,” and as he called his first disciples. To be a disciple is to be a student, but in the way one is a student of a spiritual guru rather than a classroom teacher. It is to invest one’s life in the truth of the teacher’s teaching and in the teacher him or herself, and so to follow her or his ways in all things. The word disciple is used in the New Testament more than 250 times; the word Christian, only 3. Are we ready to let go of an easily inherited Christian identity to do the hard work – both inner work and work in the world – that will make us true disciples of Jesus?
Job 5: 8-16; Psalm 34:1-18; 2 Corinthians 8:1-2, 9, 15; (Matthew 1:1-17); Luke 2:8-20
Why is God so often revealed to the world through poor or otherwise marginalized people? What lessons related to our personal and the world’s transformation are we meant to learn by this?
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