Saturday, July 25, 2009

August 2, 2009

Breaking Open The Scripture
Scriptures for the week of 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13, Psalm 51:1-12, Ephesians 4:1-16, John6:24-35

2 Samuel
This is the second half of the story of David’s Sin. David had a chance to confess and to make things right with God. He is the king, and in most circumstances he had the right to make the rules. But Nathan reminds him that he does not make the rules, God makes the rules – sin is sin. Sin is missing the mark of what is in your best interest. And we all have to deal with the consequences of what we do wrong. The rest of the story of David is the story of his decline as a king. The son of his sin, Solomon, becomes the next great king. Life goes on for David, but only because of God’s forgiveness.

Jesus makes his point of feeding the 5000, and intends to go on vacation to regroup. But the crowd continues to follow him and to ask for more. He has saved them, they want to make king. Jesus sees this as a teaching moment. He tells us why he feeds us and how this is a gift from God. Not something to be exploited. We are to be thankful for what we have, and be willing to serve God.
Questions: Who has confronted you with the consequences of your sin? How did you respond? As you look at your life, what are the key events that have shaped your life? What feeds your soul? How is Jesus at work in those activities? How do you say thank you to God? How often do you ask Jesus for food for your soul?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July 26, 2009

Breaking Open The Scripture
Scriptures for the week of July 26th : 2 Samuel 11:1-15, Psalm 14, Ephesians 3:14-21, John 6:1-21

2 Samuel
Once David became king, it was decided that he would not go in battle. His followers did not want the dame fate that happened to Saul. And yet, even though he was not killed, he made the same mistakes. He began to think that he was beyond the law because he was king. Everything that he did and everything that he thought was correct. So when he saw Bathsheba, he could have her, even though she was already married. When she gets pregnant, David has his faithful husband killed to cover up his sin. God reminds David that no person is above God’s law, and no one gets away with wrong. We all have to deal with the consequences of our bad behavior. David’s request for forgiveness (psalm 51) becomes our example of realizing that we too are sinners, and in need of a relationship with God to ask for forgiveness.
We switch to John for a few weeks. The feeding of the 5000 is contained in all 4 gospels. We skipped Mark’s version, so that we could look at John’s version. By this time in Jesus’ ministry, he is very tired, and needs to get away. There are still messages that he need to make sure they understand. But no matter what he needs to do, there are people who need him. He uses prayer and faith to meet that need.
Questions: How have you learned the lesson that faith and integrity does not protect you from sin? How does power seem to still corrupt some otherwise good people? Jesus does not want people to see him, but to see the message. What is the message of the feeding of 5000 for today? How do we point to the present sign of the times?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 12, 2009

Scriptures for the week of July 12th: 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19, Psalm 24, Ephesians 1:3-14, Mark 6:14-29

2 Samuel
In battle, the Israelites took the Ark of Covenant with them. They believed that it was the power of God inside which helped them to win the battle. Once while fighting the Philistines, it was taken from them. David was able to retrieve it, which was a time of great celebration. David loves God, and he is really excited about the moment. But did he take things too far? Why would his wife be upset about his dancing and celebrating this moment for this country?

The Christian church has been around long enough to where there were just as many gentiles as there were Jewish converts. But these two groups saw life so differently, that they often could not exist in the same congregation. Paul (or one of Paul’s students) is telling the Ephesians to focus on what the two groups have in common, not their differences. Our commonality is that we are chosen, redeemed, forgiven and sealed by the promise of the Holy Spirit.

Questions: What are the things that all Christians have in common? God has a purpose for all of humanity, how do you fit in? How does your church fit in? David was willing to go all out to worship God, even to the point of embarrassment – how willing are you to go out tot tell others what God has done for you?