Lent Bible Study: “Dear Those Who Love God”
This year we will be adding a new Lent practice of noon Bible study, this year focusing on the Gospel of Luke because it is the primary source for this years lectionary readings.
We will begin at noon each Wednesday. We will gather in the Choir room because that keeps us more spaced from the preschool. For those joining us online, we will use the worship link, which is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81459937029?pwd=Z0pTMXVjUWU5VkxEQXBva2FDRHhXQT09 . We will begin with a check-in, watch the video together, and then go through the discussion material.
We are using a free Bible study resource offered by Yale Divinity School (Yes, the Yale Ivy League university). It is highly recommended for launching hybrid (in person and online) community learning. You can look at the resources and create an account (not needed to view and use the materials, there is a discussion board feature I have not explored). The main website is https://yalebiblestudy.org/ . We will be using the study on the Gospel of Luke which is at https://yalebiblestudy.org/courses/the-gospel-of-luke/?tab=tab-curriculum
This is as everything an experiment. We will learn as we go how to do hybrid community gatherings. I have done worship and meetings, but a class will be new for me. But it is exciting to be able to use these tools in so many ways and potentially make community learning accessible to people for whom being present physically wouldn’t be feasible.
Each of the four Gospels has a unique perspective on Jesus’ life and ministry. They don’t all line up exactly. It is a lot like how different camera angles give a very different perspective. They are all telling the story of Jesus, but they each do so in their own way.
Luke, The third gospel depicts the life and teaching of Jesus by anchoring him in the prophetic and priestly traditions of the scriptures of Israel. It focuses on compassionate forgiveness as a central feature of the Christian life.
Some questions we will engage:
Luke’s gospel offers a prominent place to women throughout his story. They seem to be the focus of Jesus’ special concern. Is this liberation, or condescension, or some mix of the two?
Luke also raises concerns about what responding to Jesus means for our wealth and earthly goods. The rich and the powerful are subject to prophetic judgment and are called to some decisive action, but what is that supposed to be? Radical transformation of the economic order? Compassion for the widow and orphan? Something in between?
The gospel poses questions to its readers rather than definitive solutions, but it strongly suggests that the answers are to be found in a prayerful appropriation of the example of Jesus, the one anointed to proclaim the good news of God’s forgiving love.
Because this is the year of our Sunday readings that focuses on the third Gospel, we will use this lent to pull close to it and see what we can learn from it.
Each week we will cover one or two sessions depending on the time available and wanting to make it to the end by Easter. Week 8 covers Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection and will frame our Holy Week services. Pastor Tim hasn’t used this format before so he will decide what to combine later.