Church of the Good Shepherd Bible Study meets Tuesday morning, 11am in the Adult Learning Center.

March 05, 2019: Romans 15:1-6

03.05.2019

Tuesday Bible Study

Adult Learning Center

Rev. Sarah TevisTownes


This week begins the season of Lent. Join us for Ash Wednesday at 6PM. We’ll acknowledge our mortality while also recognizing the divine spark within each of us. On Sunday, we’ll begin our Lenten series, “A Season of Hope.” In addition to exploring the odd and beautiful places we experience hope in our lives, we’ll also be learning more about the Bible and the United Church of Christ. Next week’s text will be Romans 15:1-6. We’ll talk about the nature of scripture, receive a short history of the Bible, and discover how our sacred texts might bring us hope as we begin our walk toward Jerusalem.


Scripture

Romans 15: 1-6

New Revised Standard Version

 

We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. 3 For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our learning, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, 6 so that together you may with one voice glorify the God.


 

February 26, 2019: Luke 9:28-36

02.26.2019

Tuesday Bible Study

Adult Learning Center

Rev. Sarah TevisTownes


Our text this week comes from Luke 9:28-36. In this text, Jesus goes up the mountain with his Disciples Peter, James and John. There, he is “transfigured,” and his clothes become “as bright as a flash of lightning.” Along side him appear visions of Moses and Elijah. Peter speaks up, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” At that moment, a cloud envelops the group, and a voice from the cloud says “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” when the cloud departs, Jesus is left alone without Elijah and Moses, and the group descends the mountain without building any shelters at all.

 

This is an odd story, for sure. It is saying something about institutions and our desire to build things to contain God? Is this about Jesus’ relationship to Moses and Elijah? What does Peter have to do with all of this and where do we fit in? I look forward to exploring the hidden gems in this text with you next week!


Scripture

Luke 9: 28-36

New Revised Standard Version

 

28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” —not knowing what he said. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” 36 When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.


 

February 05, 2019: Luke 5:1-11

02.05.2019

Tuesday Bible Study

Adult Learning Center

Rev. Sarah TevisTownes


This week’s text comes from Luke 5:1-11. Jesus tells a fisherman named Simon to put his nets out into the deep water. Simon initially balks at the idea—they’ve been fishing all night with no success. Despite his doubts, Simon follows Jesus’ directions, and to his surprise, his crew catches so many fish that they nearly break the nets. Simon falls to his knees before Jesus, embarrassed to be standing as an ordinary man before such a miracle-worker. Jesus simply tells him not to be afraid—”From now on, you will be catching people,” he says.  What “deep water” is God calling us to fish in? What doubts are holding you back?


Scripture

Luke 5: 1—11

New King James Version

5 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Jesus to hear the word of God, that he stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, where he saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then he got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.

 

When he had stopped speaking, he said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch.”

 

But Simon answered and said to him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at your word, I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Master!”

 

For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were companions with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Jesus.


 

January 29, 2019: Luke 4: 21-30

01.29.2019
Tuesday Bible Study
Adult Learning Center
Rev. Sarah TevisTownes


This week’s text comes from Luke 4:21-30, a story in which Jesus is rejected in his hometown. Jesus’ hometown friends saw him as a hypocrite – a poor and simple man proclaiming he was the savior. “If you’re so great,” they reasoned, “why not make your own situation better?” Are there ways we’ve outgrown our own upbringing? How can we learn from those old and entrenched pieces of ourselves? How might we confront them with integrity? And why do you suppose Luke included this text at all…? Did he add it for his non-Jewish audience to clarify that Jesus indeed valued them and was called to serve them? What else might Luke be trying to teach his early audience? What might the still-speaking God have to say to us through his text?


Scripture

Luke 4:14-30

New Revised Standard Version

 

14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim the year of the God’s favor.”

 

20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”

 

23 He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” 24 And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25 But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26 yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27 There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

 

28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30 But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

 

January 22, 2019: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31

01.22.2019
Tuesday Bible Study
Adult Learning Center
Rev. Sarah TevisTownes


This week’s text comes from 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. The Apostle Paul challenges his congregation to consider what part they play in the Body of Christ. “Can everyone be an apostle?” he asks. “Can everyone teach?” Paul adds: “even those parts that seem weakest are indispensable.” So what do WE do best – as individuals and as a community? What part do we have to play?


Scripture

1 Corinthians 12: 12-31

The Voice Translation

 

12 Just as a body is one whole made up of many different parts, and all the different parts comprise the one body, so it is with the Anointed One. 13 We were all ceremonially washed through baptism together into one body by one Spirit. No matter our heritage—Jew or Greek, insider or outsider—no matter our status—oppressed or free—we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

 

14 Here’s what I mean: the body is not made of one large part but of many different parts. 15 Would it seem right for the foot to cry, “I am not a hand, so I couldn’t be part of this body”? Even if it did, it wouldn’t be any less joined to the body. 16 And what about an ear? If an ear started to whine, “I am not an eye; I shouldn’t be attached to this body,” in all its pouting, it is still part of the body.

 

17 Imagine the entire body as an eye. How would a giant eye be able to hear? And if the entire body were an ear, how would an ear be able to smell? 18 This is where God comes in. God has meticulously put this body together; God placed each part in the exact place to perform the exact function God wanted. 19 If all members were a single part, where would the body be? 20 So now, many members function within the one body. 21 The eye cannot wail at the hand, “I have no need for you,” nor could the head bellow at the feet, “I won’t go one more step with you.”

 

22 It is actually the opposite. The members who seem to have the weaker functions are necessary to keep the body moving; 23 the body parts that seem less important we treat as some of the most valuable; and those unfit, untamed, unpresentable members we treat with an even greater modesty. 24 That’s something the more presentable members don’t need. But God designed the body in such a way that greater significance is given to the seemingly insignificant part. 25 That way there should be no division in the body; instead, all the parts mutually depend on and care for one another.

 

 

26 If one part is suffering, then all the members suffer alongside it. If one member is honored, then all the members celebrate alongside it. 27 You are the body of Christ, the Liberating Anointed One; each and every one of you is a vital member. 28 God has appointed gifts in the assembly: first emissaries, second prophets, third teachers, then miracle workers, healers, helpers, administrators, and then those who speak with various unknown languages. 29 Are all members gifted as emissaries? Are all gifted with prophetic utterance? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Or are all gifted in healing arts? Do all speak or interpret unknown languages? Of course not. 31 Pursue the greater gifts, and let me tell you of a more excellent way—love.