Showing posts from March, 2019

Can we Fully Understand Anything?

Is it okay to misunderstand things in our faith? Is it okay if a neighboring church misunderstands something? Is it okay to believe we might not know it all? Our Coffee Break Bible Study looked at the Bread of Heaven passage last week - a "hard" saying, as the disciples now complain, and a hard saying that has divided Christian churches over the centuries. Does it matter that we don't all interpret it the same way? I hope we'll conclude in this week's study that there are more important things to worry about. (44) Rejection or Misunderstanding? Christian churches still choose to divide themselves by how they interpret the Bread of Heaven passage. How comfortable are you accepting that other Christians might have different interpretations? 1.        Read John 6:60 If this is, as the Bible and the disciples say, “a hard saying,” should any of us expect to fully understand it? Does the Spirit give us complete understanding, or sufficient understanding? 2.

What are we looking for?

Jesus fed the 5,000 then disappeared. When he reappears, the crowds gather to meet him. Are they looking for food, healing, teaching... or just for the next new thing? If they were looking for teaching, they certainly found some, though the disciples described it later as a "hard teaching." What are we looking for? (43) Hard Teaching Jesus has just fed the 5,000; John records this as Jesus’ fourth “sign” ( Read John 6:14—the signs so far are: wedding feast at Cana, healing the official’s son, and healing at the pool ) and so a seriously big deal in determining who Jesus is. Jesus then sails across the water (and walks on water—last week’s study). Meanwhile… Read John 6:22-24 1.        How do the crowds react when Jesus has “disappeared”? 2.        What efforts do we make to “find” Jesus when we don’t sense his presence? Jesus lands at Gennesaret (probably Kineret on the Northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, not far to the west of Capernaum). Read Matthew 14:

Lent starts tomorrow... are you ready?

Today's the day for pancakes back home - Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday; the day before Lent begins. I loved pancakes as a child; Lent not so much, since giving up chocolate always seemed like more than I could do. I saved myself from too serious a commitment though, reminding myself that it would be "unkind" to refuse gifts of comfort food from my non-Catholic relatives. And now, here I am, a mongrel Christian indeed... and here's pancake Tuesday with me wondering if I can make gluten-free pancakes (they never quite work)... and here's Karen May with a fantastic book for Lent, Holy Week and Easter, for Catholics, Protestants and Mongrel Christians, and for anyone else wondering what the whole Lent and Easter thing is all about. Thank you for this great excerpt from your book Karen! Excerpt from  Walking Through Holy Week Chapter 3: Good Friday Part I: Walking the Road to the Cross   How meaningful it must have been for the followers of Jesus

Are You Drowning?

Our Coffee Break Bible Studies continue in familiar territory this week with Jesus walking on water after trying to escape from the crowds. But why doesn't he just calm the storm, rather than walking out in it? Or was he walking out there (on the water) to check if his friends were okay? It's nice to think he might be walking around (in the Spirit) to check if I'm okay when I'm drowning in things that go wrong. (42) Are you drowning? Jesus has just preached to and fed 5,000 people. At least some of his disciples must be asking now if he’s Moses, Elijah or Elishah. Some of the crowd as well. Can you imagine how rumors might fly, and how dangerous the result might be for a preacher? So he slips away… or perhaps the disciples do… Read Matthew 14:22-23, Mark 6:45-46, John 6:16-17 1.        Why do you think Jesus wanted to be alone? 2.        When might you want to be alone with God? What can you do/has God done to make it happen? Read Matthew 14:24-26, M