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?
When the disciples first begin to follow Jesus, they don't know exactly who he is and what his mission is all about. It's as if they see him through a glass darkly- blurry and indistinct. It's only after his resurrection that the picture comes into focus and the disciples finally see Jesus as the Eternal Word of God made Flesh. There are, however, individual moments on their journey with the Lord when they catch small glimpses or insights into his true identity. Today's reading from Luke's Gospel is all about one such moment of special revelation. While three of Jesus' closest disciples are praying with him on a mountaintop, they see their Lord transfigured, engulfed in the glory of God. Today, we'll take a closer look at this story.
In last week's Bible Study, we talked about how NOT to pray, focussing particularly on what Jesus has to say in Matthew 6:5-8. In this Bible study, we'll focus on the model prayer that Jesus offers his disciples- that which we call "the Lord's Prayer" or the "Our Father" (Matthew 6:9-13). If you're a Christian, you've said this prayer countless times in your life. But, how often do we truly think about what we're saying? Today, I'll take a deep dive into this prayer, verse by verse.
Jesus begins his teaching on prayer with the words, "WHEN you pray" not "IF you pray." Clearly, Jesus wanted his disciples to make prayer an integral part of their lives. But, is there a proper way to pray? Or, to phrase the question differently, is there a wrong way to pray? The answer to both questions is yes. In the first of this two part series on prayer, we will take a closer look at Jesus' teachings regarding how NOT to pray, focusing particularly on Matthew 6:5-8.
Because Jesus is indeed loving and compassionate we may be tempted to mistake him for a tame Messiah- one who stands in our corner, always taking our side. However, the truth that comes across so clearly in today's Gospel reading (Mark 1:21-28) is this: Jesus has come to confront and cast out the power of evil in this world. That includes the evil that exists in our communities and, indeed, within our very own hearts.