Cracking open the Bible Books

I have had a number of friends be part of a Bible Study group.  I was never sure what this was.  A continuous group reading of the Bible? A quiz like situation where you were lost if you did not know all the Books in the correct order? 

I went to a Bible Study group many many years ago.  Twice.  It was a mixture of the two scenarios above and I battled to fit into either.  I found myself paging frantically through my Bible, trying to look as if I knew exactly where the Book being referred to was located, repeating in my head what we all know, Genesis and then... Matthew, Mark, Luke and John ..... and hoping to spot Hebrews along that last route, which of course I wouldn't. Because it isn't.  I never went back.  

This year our Parish started Bible Study and feeling enthused I decided to join.  Well.  Look. At. Me. Now.  

I know that all the "ians" are together ... Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians ... I call them the Ian family.  I know that when I get to James, Peter and John that I have just missed Hebrews one step before.  I know that any name that I probably battle with slightly is more than likely in the Old Testament.  I know that Psalms and Proverbs are there and a myriad of other little laws for myself.  I won't be able to recite the order, but at least I do not look for 1 Timothy around the Song of Songs area :).  Why?  Because T comes after S.  Simple hey?

I am now working on finding and knowing which stories I will find where.  I would love to have someone talk about Jesus Healing a Man Born Blind ... and BOOM I know exactly where it is .... now that I know where to find Jesus Talks with a Samaritan Woman, I am waiting with anticipation for someone to mention it and I can throw into the conversation "yes, mmmm John 4, one of my favourites".

Our Bible Study group is lead by our Parish Priest.  I am the youngest attendee (I think) so I am surrounded by a LOT of wisdom.  This is a wonderful group of women, plus Fr Chris and sometimes Deacon Tony.  Fr C knows the Bible as well as I know the best coffee shops in Pretoria.  Beyond extremely well.  There are ladies in the group who can cross reference like nobody's business - I still look a little like Bambi in headlights at some stages. 

But these Thursday morning classes ........ they make the Gospel come alive ... we learn that the initial reading is always pretty superficial and then we do what Fr C calls "scratching Scripture" and we break open every word and every nuance of that piece .... finding new meaning, new expression, forcing us to think out the box.  We look at the map in the Bible and we get totally immersed in the stories we read ..... when Fr C says "isn't this amazing?" .... we agree ..... damn, this is!   This usually leads us to a related debate on a more modern day issue and it really is an hour of sharing, interaction and learning. 

No get together at a "kerk" is complete without coffee and cookies.  We are no exception.  We huddle around the little Nespresso machine and discuss the day to come and then we go our separate ways .... me being fortunate that my office is only ten steps down the passage ....... and all day I mull that particular Scripture piece in my head. 

So, how do you feel about "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed"...... do you know where to find that?? 

till soon 
c'est la vie xxx 


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