Saturday, August 8, 2015
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for August 16th: 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14; Psalm 111; Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58: Song: Great is thy Faithfulness UMH 140: Theme: The bread of life: 1 Kings: We have been following the life of David all summer. What a life it was. He started out as a young man, with the inner qualities that God is looking for. When the time comes, God decides if I have to choose a king it may as well be David. David shows his devotion to God. David sins and show his weakness to God. God forgives him, but says that the consequences of his sin lay in the generations to come. His sons turn against him. He dies. And now it is time to turn his life work over to his son Solomon. That is basically the life story of us all. No matter how much we accomplish in our lives, we are going to have to turn it over to someone else. And a new lesson begins. Solomon knows that his relationship with God is not about him, it is about his leadership and the needs of his people. His request from God is wisdom to do his job well. God’s reply is that if he does his job well and serves his people, then his leadership will be blessed. John: We have one more week of John 6. We are supposed to realize just how the life of Christ nourishes our soul. We are supposed to chew upon John 6 as the word of God. What does Jesus mean when he says I am the bread of life. He explains the importance of the communion ritual. And what it means to eat living bread. This is one of those verses that will only make sense to a Christian. Anyone else would be turned off by the image of actually eating your leader. But for us it means that we are supposed to take Christ inside of our bodies. Don’t just imitate Christ – be Christ. When you are faced with tough times, know that Christ is with you. And it is the Christ in you that makes a difference in our life and in the lives of others. It is the Christ in you that acts, that thinks, that does the right thing. We can be grateful for that. Questions: If you could ask God for anything what would it be? Do you think Solomon made the right choice at asking for wisdom? What would have happened had he asked for riches? What does communion mean to you? How is the word of Christ living bread that last forever? What are others ways to eat the bread of life?
Sunday, August 2, 2015
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for August 9th: 2 Samuel 18:5-9,15,31-33; Psalm 130; Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41-51: theme: Christ is all that we need; song: Come Ye Disconsulate: UMH 510 Ephesians: The message of Ephesians is an ongoing message. There are things that build up community, there are things that tear down community. Truth builds community and lying tears it apart. In order to build the kingdom of God, we have to build community. We have to do things that make people feel welcome. We have to give those who need forgiveness a place at the table. After all, God was able to forgive us, so we need to be able to forgive others. As a matter of fact, we need to be imitators of Christ. In our actions, it is not what we want to do, it is what does the bible tell us to do. We are created to create community and to live peacefully in it. But that takes work our part. John: This is the third week that we focus on John 6. These are the I am statements of Jesus. Jesus is a glimpse of who God in heaven is. Jesus provides for all of our needs. The whole point of John is to show the divinity of Jesus and his life. He was not the son of David, but he was the Son of God – Thus God on Earth. So we need to give him honor. Bread is an important staple. A big part of our diet. Well, Jesus is the bread of life. When we feast on Jesus, we will not be spiritually hungry. Being spiritually fed is the first step to being physically fed. Jesus is the bread of life – the spiritual food that will open the doors of heaven and provide a pathway to eternity Questions: What does it mean to imitate Christ? How has community made a difference in your life? How do you build community in your life? What about your community needs to improve? What is spiritual food for you? Do you like bread? How is Jesus like bread for you? Do you like the heavenly qualities of Christ, or the earthly life of Jesus?