The story of Noah and the Ark is a story that most Christians have known since their childhood years. It conjures up colourful images of furry animals, all streaming onto Noah's floating zoo, two by two. In truth, the story of Noah and the Ark is one that is rather disturbing and theologically challenging. It's a story about humanity's capacity for terrible evil; a story about God's destructive wrath in the face of that evil. However, it is also a story about hope – hope that life can continue on after catastrophe. Surprisingly enough, it is also a story about God's grace. This will hopefully become clear as we take a closer look at the 6th Chapter of the Book of Genesis.
In this, Part 4 in our Bible study series on Genesis 1-11, we'll take a closer look at the story of Cain and Abel. This ancient story is about resentment, bitterness and hate- a hate so deep that it ultimately gives birth to murder. Was Cain destined to kill his brother? Are we, as a species, destined to live at odds with one another? We'll explore these questions and more in today's Bible Study.
After Jesus' death on the cross, the disciples were not expecting his resurrection. Instead, they were hiding in fear- fear that the authorities would do to them precisely as they did to Jesus. But fear wasn't the only thing they felt. The eleven were also filled with sorrow and confusion. The man whom they believed to be the one who would save Israel and usher in the Kingdom of God had been killed before their very eyes. Did God make a mistake? Has God deliberately sabotaged his own plans? It is then that the risen Christ appears in the midst of the disciples. As he speaks to them he reveals the truth; namely, that his crucifixion wasn't a mistake. Rather, it was a part of the divine plan all along. Jesus then invites the disciples to work alongside God as the divine plan continues to unfold.
Those of us from liturgical churches would be very familiar with the Nicene and Apostles' Creed. These are affirmations of faith that we recite every Sunday morning— perhaps even every time we pray. However, you might be surprised to learn that there are certain creeds that are even older than these— one of which is found in Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. Today, we’ll take closer look at this “proto-creed” as we examine 1 Corinthians 15:3-8.
From time to time, we may find ourselves struggling with a sense of futility and pointlessness. Why can't we seem to accomplish anything meaningful in life? Why does it sometimes feel like we're taking two steps forward and three steps back? Why can't we seem to succeed in achieving lasting positive change, both on a personal and social level? In fact, this sense of futility might lead us to despair, seeing all life as a "vanity of vanities and a chase after the wind" (to quote the author of Ecclesiastes). However, in the face of such despair, there is hope. That hope is rooted in the Christian doctrine of the bodily resurrection- an event which lies at the very heart of our faith. In today's sermon, Terence will take a closer look at 1 Corinthians 15:35-58. Here, the Apostle Paul responds to two questions: (1) How are the dead raised and (2) What is the resurrection body like? Terence will walk us through Paul's response to both of these questions. In the end, you'll see precisely why the doctrine of the resurrection is a source of such deep hope in the face of life's supposed futility.
The story of Adam, Eve and the fall is one of the most well known stories of the Bible- perhaps of all western literature. But as old and as familiar as this story is, it contains many mysteries and raises a number of interesting questions: Why place a deadly fruit tree in the middle of paradise? What does it truly mean for humanity to have knowledge of good and evil? Why do the man and woman become conscious of their nakedness after their sin? In this Bible study, we will explore these questions and more.
This is Part II in a Bible Study series called, "Origin Stories," focusing on the first eleven chapters of the Book of Genesis. Today, we take a closer look at Genesis Chapter 1, focusing particularly on the 6th and 7th days of creation (Genesis 1:26-2:3). What does it mean for God to create human beings "in his image?" And why does God- the Eternal source of Being- need to rest? We'll answer these questions and more in our Bible Study today.
Most people know the story of Jesus' dramatic visit to the Temple in Jerusalem, where he overturns the tables of the money changers and throws out the people selling cattle, sheep and doves. He also accuses the people of turning his Father's house into a marketplace. What does Jesus mean by this accusation? What does this have to say about what's wrong with the way we, as twenty-first century Christians, worship?