Saturday, July 28, 2012
Scriptures for August 5th: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13; Psalm 51:1-12; Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35; Jesus is the bread of life; Samuel: This is a continuation of last week. Last week we witnessed the sinful act, this Sunday we learn how the story continues. Even if he fixed the situation on the outside, he still had to live with the consequences. David thought that he had silenced anyone who had witnessed his sin. But God was there also, God saw it all and God refused to be silenced. The prophet Nathan tells him that God is not happy. And God will not ignore that has happen. David was favored by God, but he still had to atone for his sin. God had promised that his kingdom would last forever, but God says that it will be a troubled reign. I often wonder if we would have heard this story if Bathsheba was not the mother of Solomon. It seems that it is Solomon that must tell this story of his father’s sin, in order to legitimize his reign. We wish that he had taken the story seriously and not made the same mistakes. Interestingly, in the end, justice is served. Bathsheba is not remembered as Solomon’s mother, she is remembered as Uriah’s wife. She is listed in Jesus genealogy. She becomes a part of our story of salvation, even though she is in the story of David’s sin. John: This scripture is also a continuation of last week’s story. The feeding of the 5000 becomes a teaching moment for Jesus to tell is that he is the bread of life. Man cannot eat by bread alone; we also need to live by the word of God. But when our stomachs are hungry, we are less likely to listen. Jesus fed their bellies and they still did not understand. They thought that Jesus was feeding them so that he could be an earthly king. Jesus wants to be an eternal king of our lives. John chapter six is a lesson for the church that we are the hands of Jesus for the world. Jesus continues to feed us – when we take communion, he says, do this in remembrance of me. But everything that we should do should be in remembrance of Jesus. But it is our power to give to others and to live a holy life. It is our faith in eternal life. If we follow Jesus, we will do well in this world, but we do better in the world to come. That is the world that Jesus is preparing for those who follow him all of the way. Questions: Are you still living in the consequences of sin? What lesson about forgiveness does this story of David tell us? When was the last time you asked God to create a clean heart for you? What signs that Jesus is taking care of you have you received? How has that sign turned into an act faith for you?
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Scriptures For July 29th: 2 Samuel 11:1-15; Psalm 4; Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-21; Jesus provides even for sinful people; Song - Oh Jesus, I have Promised – UMH 396 2 Samuel: We have been following the life of David, we have watched all of the elements that made him king. This story reminds us that, no matter how faithful we are, we are in danger of sinning. It is not always our character, it is the position that we are put into. David started out as a modest shepherd, and became a very spoiled king. Once he got to the point where he could have anything that he wanted, he decided he wanted someone else’s wife. He was not able to overcome that sin. This is the man who wrote, create in me a clean heart O God. But this sin followed him the rest of his life. God reminds us that even though we are forgiven, we cannot overcome the consequences of our actions. Most of the time that is punishment enough. David goes on the life a good life, but not necessarily a happy life. John: The feeding of the 5000 is such an important story that is it included in all gospels. We have been studying Mark. Last week we leave off with Jesus taking his disciples aside for a rest. But the people are in need. The need to be fed. Jesus feeds them with the word of God, but he also gives them food. There is a saying which says that sometimes the gospel is a full belly. In order for people to listen to the gospel, they have to be fed first. This also shows us the beginnings of our communion, where Jesus gives himself as bread and drink. So that we can see that we are spiritually fed. We are called to continue that mission. Jesus tells the disciples to feed the people, and they use what they have. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit who takes what we have and makes it enough to feed even 5000 faithful followers. Questions: What do we do to stay holy when we are surrounded by sin everyday? How do we ask for God to create a clean heart in us? What consequences of sin are you still living with? If power corrupts us spiritually, when needs to be done to handle power? Have you witnessed the increase of the Holy Spirit in your efforts to feed others? Have you ever been spiritually hungry? How did Christ make sure you were fed? Why do you think this is such an important story?
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Scriptures For July 22nd: 2 Samuel 7:1-14; Psalm 89:20-37; Ephesians 2:11-22; Mark 6:30-34,53-56; Theme: Sometimes God has other plans than we do; Song: Great is Thy Faithfulness UMH 140 2 Samuel: All summer, we have been following the story of the Kingship of David. We learn how he got to be King, what is character was like as a King. David is so grateful to God for how he has been blessed, that he promises that when he is established, he will repay God. He has established Jerusalem as his city, as the capital of his Kingdom. He has embarked on a massive building project in order to build the city up. Now it is time to do the same for God. And yet God refuses the offer. He does not to live in a house of cedar. He would prefer the congregation to be on the move, and living in temporary space. He is the ultimate builder, it is his job to build up David, not the other way around. Mark: Mark spends a lot of time concentrating on the messiah on the sea. This is the time when the disciples seem the most scared, when they should be to most confident as fishermen. It is as if Jesus is preparing them for mission that will truly transform. Next week we will look at the story of the feeding of the 5000, that is contained in the book of John. After Jesus sent them out into the world 2x2, everyone is exhausted. Jesus is teaching them rest, when a storm comes and they see Jesus walk on water. He tells them not to worry, everything will be okay. He calls not only Peter, but all disciples to work hard and have faith in him. When the crowds are coming for help, Jesus is ready to not only teach that he is the messiah, but to actually feed and help them. Questions: When have you had plans for God, and he told you not to do him any favors? When is God the strongest? In times of struggle and desire, or in times when all of our needs are met? How is God building up your life and your faith, in the midst of your desire to serve God? Where is your faith tested the most in your life? How is the church like a ship on the sea? In what ways does Christ call those we are weary and worried to calm down? Have you ever experienced something like to feeding of the 5000 in your life today?