Peace and Goodwill to all in the New Year,
First, I would like to remind everyone that our one and only Bible Study at each church is changing times. The study at Grey Eagle UMC is moving from Thursday nights to Wednesday afternoons at 1:00 PM. The study at Peace United Church is moving from Wednesday nights to Wednesday afternoons at 3:00 PM. The new times start tomorrow, January 4. For the first four weeks we will be studying “The Verbs of God: How God Moves on Our Behalf” with Margaret Feinberg giving the lessons on DVD. She writes, “The Verbs of God remind us that God is a God of movement and he’s in the business of redeeming, restoring, and renewing us. By looking at just how active God is in scripture, we’re reminded of how active he is in our lives each and every day. In the process, we find our hope in God and resolve to follow God strengthened.” This will be a good follow-up to our Covenant Renewal Service we had this past Sunday. I hope to see you there.
Friday is Epiphany (please refer to my newsletter article") and the lessons, without comment, are:
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14
I sent those readings, one of four sets, in my email last week. This coming Sunday is celebrated as “The Baptism of the Lord” and the lessons are:
Genesis 1:1-5 – What was the earth like when God created it? What swept over the waters? I will answer that question because the one Hebrew word “rauch” can be translated three ways in English: Spirit, breath, or wind. It might be helpful to hold in tension all three understandings in our minds when we hear “the ‘rauch’ of God”. What are God’s first words? What happened as a result? And what did God think of this happening and what did God name it? What three things in these 5 verses would relate to our Gospel reading?
Psalm 29 – What is the primary subject of verses 3-9? Where is this thing and what is it able to do? What are the final two wishes of the psalmist?
Acts 19:1-7 – Who did Paul find in Ephesus when he got there? What did he ask these people? What hadn’t they received when they became believers? What did Paul do so that they would receive this? What did the people do following Paul’s action? How many were there?
Mark 2:4-11 – Where did John the Baptizer appear and what did he do? What did he look like? Who came to see him? What was his proclamation? Who showed up while John the Baptizer was active? What did John do for Jesus? What three things happened as Jesus was coming out of the water?
Some additional questions to ponder – Do you remember your baptism? If not, do you remember your confirmation? How was your life changed? Was it a sudden shift or did the changes come slowly over time? If you do not believe that you were ever baptized please contact me because I can help.
May the Spirit of God affirm God’s love to you through your encounter with God’s Word.