Monday, June 24, 2013

Week One, The Bible Journal (God's Story, Our Story), A Draft

I'm preparing a journal for Bidwell Presbyterian Church to journey through the storyline of the Bible in sixteen weeks. Here's a draft of the first week. Let me know what you think.

The Making of the Old Testament

This section presents the variety of styles and voices in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible). You will also be introduced to two key themes: the creation of the world and the fall of humankind, which set the stage for the story of the Bible and how God interacts with humankind. Because of its importance, there are a few more readings this week.

Psalm 119:105-112, Psalm 8, 104 (prayer)
These are psalms for each week that you can read daily as a way of beginning in prayer.

Genesis 1-4, 6-8, 11:1-9
Note the way that the Bible describes God’s creation of the world, first in a more cosmic way (Genesis 1), and then a more personal mode (Genesis 2). Then right away, Adam and Eve disobey God and are separated from him. What do you learn here about God’s good creation and the nature of human evil?

Leviticus 16-20
Skim this material to get a sense of ancient Israel’s law (Hebrew “Torah” also means “teaching” or “instruction”). What concerns are reflected in these chapters?

Proverbs 1, 8, 14-17
In the Proverbs we find wisdom or directions for skillful living. What do you see about how to live? What are some common themes?

Jeremiah 1, 2
Here we meet the prophet Jeremiah who began his ministry as a prophet around 627 BC. How does Jeremiah respond to his call to be a prophet? What resonates with your experience? What seems intimidating?

Song of Songs 1-4
In these chapters, we read poetry between two lovers. What is their love like? What do you think about this being in the Bible?

Overall Reflection: Of all these voices and styles of writing in the Old Testament, which are you drawn to? Which ones challenge you? What did you learn about God and about yourself?

Prayer: As I read your word, by your Spirit, open me to what you want to teach. May I know you. May I know myself (From St. Augustine)

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