St Botolph's Weekly Bible Study for 16th July at 10am
Journeying with God and each other
Isaiah 55:6-13 English Standard Version
6 "Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
12 "For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."
We have been journeying together over the past weeks in an exploration of scripture and what faith means to each of us. This week we thought it might be a good place to think about our individual journeys. There is no right or wrong with regard to where we are and how we feel about that. Without getting all academic about it, our understanding of God is held in tension between our understanding of Jesus, his teaching ministry and how we have reacted to it. This passage from Isaiah tells us that we are loved by God, that we should not strive so hard to be perfect, as only he is, but we should try to be the best that we can be as Christians. Whatever that best is will be welcome in the eyes of God. We have selected two pictures to aid us in our study this week. Read the Isaiah passage as many times as you can. Think about what God is saying and how he is encouraging us to react to his gifts.
The Christian Journey - Part One - Mountains
From Starting and Restarting with God, J Pritchard, SPCK. Page 5
Mountains play a big part in biblical imagery. Which stories come to mind for you?
Imagine the mountain represents God, Christ, the Christian faith.
Which of the figures represents you in your relationship with God? Allow yourself to explore a little about why you identify with that figure. Once you have done that consider how that relationship has changed, say from 5 or 10 years ago. Finally, which figure would you aspire to be, say in 2 years or so, what might help and encourage you to get there?
The Christian Journey - Part Two - The Pathway
From Starting and Restarting with God, J Pritchard, SPCK. Page 11
Journeys and pathways too play a big part in biblical imagery. Which stories come to mind for you?
A journey has a starting point. It will have ups and downs, joys and sadness. It will have pivotal life moments. There will be difficult times. You will have been accompanied by different people.
This exploration can be quite a powerful one which you may, or may not, wish to share. For context please use it as a pathway map for your Christian journey. Plotting the important times, places and people who have encouraged you.