Monthly Archives: October 2015

October 27, 2015 Psalm 51, Luke 2 (25)

Psalm 51 is the psalm of the confession of David after he committed adultery with Bathsheba. In Luke 2, note the royalty of the first part. Caesar was conducting a census so he could tax everyone, but God announced Jesus birth to lowly sheepherders. This was a great contrast. This is the Christmas story. The religious story is great but the government is little in the Magnificat, but here govt. Is greater. Global mission planning a mission festival Jan. 24, and Elizabeth Trost will speak. She is currently in Jerusalem. The part about Simeon is not talked about too much in the church, but the Nunc Diminicus is part of lots of our services. Why does the Bible skip from age 12 to 30 because maybe he wasn’t very complementary according to some sources. There are lots of other sources that describe Jesus growing up. Think about the distances Mary and Jesus covered at this at time. They went from Bethlehem to Egypt and then all the way back to Nazareth. It had to take a lot of time for this to be done. How did Joseph afford these travels. Did he work along the way? Here God sent Jesus to the Jews but what about other religions. Is not this a religion for all? We weren’t a very talkative group this morning. 

October 20, 2015 Psalm 34, Luke 1:57-80, Psalm 66 (19)

Comments about heading to psalm. One version says David feigned madness, and another said he changed behavior.  Quite a difference.

Mark started us off by a suggestion he had heard from a seminarian introducing Luke by reading the first 4 and the last 4 verses: In the first 4 verses we hear about the veracity of the text that will follow. From the beginning, there were eye witnesses and ministers of the word. Then the last 4 verses where Jesus finishes his physical ministry on earth and then ascends into heaven.  Verse 57 is the birth of John.

What did Zechariah, who lived in the 6th century BC,  and was the name sake of the father of John the Baptist, prophesy? He was a captive in Babylon but was released along with 50,000 of his Hebrew kinsman and returned to their native Palestine around 586 BC. Zechariah attempted to rekindle a spiritual fire in the people while Haggai encouraged the completion of the temple project. Zechariah prophesied the destruction of the temple in 70, and also had a decidedly emphasis on messianic predictions, including one in which he prophesied the betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver in Zechariah 11:12-13.

Why don’t the Jews accept as Messiah? Jesus frequently uses passages from the Old Testament to justify his claim to be the messiah. But he didn’t come with an army and drive the Romans out. In Zacharias song at the end of this chapter, Zacharias sings about God coming to defeat their enemies. How can Jesus claim to be the messiah if he doesn’t even attempt to defeat their enemies? Jesus acceptance was difficult and split the people in terms of acceptance of him as Messiah.

We got into a question about the existence of God. It is the ultimate question. Verse 18 says that because of Zacharias’ unbelief he would be speechless until his son was born. Jim saw the last supper picture in Haiti and all disciples are black but Judas who was white. Why do we do things in Jesus name without recompense? Lots of people question this, but this does not alone justify us, as humanitarians who may be non-Christians do this as well. The Nones don’t understand this. Maybe they really didn’t know who their enemies are. Zacharias’ song spoke of the Messiah who would defeat our enemies. That could undermine Jesus as Messiah. We talked about uniforms and what they mean about our lives. The new pm of Canada will allow Muslim women to wear burkas and cover their faces. What do our uniforms say about us. Next week the Christmas story.  Mark recited the last 4 verses which was the ascension of Christ and the finish of his physical presence ministering to us on earth.

Oct. 13, 2015 Psalm 30, Luke 1:39-56 , Psalm 141 (23)

This is the Magnificat. It is one of 4 canticles in Luke.  These songs are Mary’s Magnificat; Zechariah’s Benedictus (1:67-79); the angels’ Gloria in Excelsis (2:13-14); and Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis (2:28-32). In form and content, these four psalms are patterned on the “hymns of praise” in Israel’s Psalter. In structure, these songs reflect the compositions of pre-Christian contemporary Jewish hymnology. The first stanza displays graphically a characteristic feature of Hebrew poetry—synonymous parallelism—in ascribing praise to God: “my soul” mirrors “my spirit”; “proclaims the greatness” with “has found gladness”; “of the Lord” with “in God my Savior.” The balance of the opening two lines bursts out into a dual Magnificat of declaring the greatness of and finding delight in God. The third stanza again demonstrates parallelism, but in this instance, three contrasting parallels: the proud are reversed by the low estate, the mighty by those of low degree, and the rich by the hungry. Mary starts off with praise to God, then she describes herself as handmaiden to the Lord, then the reversal describing Christ’s ministry, as being not to the wealthy and powerful, but to the poor and down and out. She concludes her magnificat by placing this event into the history of the Jewish people.  We had a discussion of the women at this point. The Catholics believe the immaculate conception was Anne bearing Mary, and the virgin birth is Mary bearing Jesus. This was decided by the Pope and his advisors in 1880. Mary then stayed with Elizabeth for 3 months maybe because of her unmarried status. This great reversal describes how Jesus would bring down the mighty and support the poor. But most people view their status as less than others and therefore seeing Jesus as helping them as one of the poor. We shun the poor and down and out, but Jesus came to help them out. But we are too proud to help them and think we are above them. In this, we lose the sense of community with others and can put them out of our mind. This speaks of the way we use song to teach about the gospel. (Brian Stevenson wrote a book called Just Mercy that describes our current justice system.) do we have a just system, or is it one that keeps certain people in check. The Jewish were people of the promise and maybe acted in that way. Wealth is a way to live comfortably below our means.

October 6, 2015 Psalm 28, luke 1:1-56, Psalm 29, (19)

This is a happy book. And it is full of nice relationships. Luke was a friend of Paul. There are people in Luke who are not mentioned anywhere else. For example, the story of Zechaius, the prodigal son, and the women who followed Jesus are also mentioned here as well. We think Luke was written in 80, probably after the fall of the temple in 70. Doctors at that stage were father to son and mostly hands on fixing joints, etc. Luke starts with the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth. They were told by Gabriel that they would have a son, John the Baptist. A woman who didn’t have sons was called barren. We went on to continue to verse 56, and this is the pronouncement of Jesus being born to Mary. Our first response from angels is don’t be afraid. Frank asked what was Jesus genome? Mary’s birth was the immaculate conception and Jesus is the virgin birth. This become Catholic doctrine in 1854 by Pope Pius IX although it had been beleved by many from ancient times. This near she was free of original sin. The day is celebrated Dec. 8th. Saint Ann is Mary’s mother.  It was promulgated in order that Mary woukd have a pure womb for Jesus birth.  There were questions about whether Mary was a descendant of David as well as Joseph. She probaby did not, but in thse days descendancy y isThis is a happy book. And it is full of nice relationships. Luke was a friend of Paul. There are people in Luke who are not mentioned anywhere else. We think Luke was written in 80, probably after the fall of the temple in 70. Doctors at that stage were father to son and mostly hands on fixing joints, etc. Luke starts with the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth. They were told by Gabriel that they would have a son, John the Baptist. A woman who didn’t have sons was called barren. We went on to continue to verse 56, and this is the pronouncement of Jesus being born to Mary. Our first response from angels is don’t be afraid. Frank asked what was Jesus genome? Mary’s birth was the immaculate conception and Jesus is the virgin birth. This become Catholic doctrine in the 1854 by Pope Pius IX in order to have a pure womb.   Hang your hat on Christ’s death and resurrection not on the virgin birth. Descendant is based on the husband not the wife as there was no concept of a woman contribting eggs that were fertilized by a man’s sperm, rather a man inserted the seed of a baby into a woman’s womb to grow there, thus it depended only on the man to determine ancesters.  there is are many passages in the Bible that are engineered to fullfill the prophesies in the scriptures. This is oe of them. God also seems to bring forth leaders thru births to women who haven’t had children such as barren women and virgins. In those times, women who had only daughters could also b called barren.   Hang your hat on Christ’s death and resurrection not on the virgin birth. We will start with the Magnificate next time.