Sunday, February 3, 2019

Community Bible Study

James Chan photo
Joyce Sasse - I have a dream that one day people from different Christian faiths will gather together in Bible Study groups to share their understandings.

In my mind, my image of God might be likened to a gigantic multi-faceted gem. We mortals, in trying to comprehend this One-Called-By-Many-Names, can only catch glimpses of a few facets of the whole gem. For we Christians, the life and legacy of Jesus is like a prism that helps direct our focus. But, like the proverbial mouse who thinks he knows the elephant, we believe we can “know God”.

To get back to my dream … in our study group, while one person may help manage a few details, each participant should have opportunity to speak to the chosen passage. The insights of the Protestant, the Catholic, the Pentecostal, the Aboriginal and non-believer are shared - each contributes to a more complete (though still partial) whole.

Have a discussion, for example, on Jesus’ teaching of “the Good Samaritan”. Rich input comes from one who has been repeatedly wounded because of prejudice. Another person offers the historical context. Someone defends the role of the attacker? Or the Inn-keeper? Or one of those who passes by? Gradually we recognize the variety of viewers who look on this gem.

Each person brings unique insight. Each is encouraged to speak … and to listen! Not to insist who is right or wrong … but so that together we can catch a broader vision of the One who was there in the beginning … and will be there for-ever-more.

“God of many names gathered into One”, Brian Wren writes in his hymn, “… joyfully we sing your praises, moving, endlessly becoming … Hallelujah.”

This is how we practise our village values in a global society.

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