Last night I was a busy butterfly floating around a number of places and peoples.
After arriving home from what seemed to be the longest day at work, (Christmas period days will be much worse) I dropped around to see newlyweds Geoff and Tiff at their pad. It’s a very spacious place with a pristine 70s feel to it. I got to catch up with Geoff in the old person smelling granny flat before shooting off to dinner and Bible study at The Flat.
We had the pleasure of hearing from overseas partner Stephen Shead who has been living and teaching in Chile for the last 3 years with his family. We heard about how they live and work over there, how their children find it with school, about CEP (Centre for Pastoral Studies) and their church and bible study groups. Stephen led us through a few passages:
Colossians 3:12 – 17
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
And Colossians 4:2-4
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. 5Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Here we looked at reasons why we have Bible study, kind of the fruits that would come out of it, and how we are to conduct ourselves during and as a response to it.
We then looked at Psalm 1
1Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
This Psalm talks of the wicked man and the righteous man, but we can also think of them as the foolish man and the wise man respectively.
From the 3 passages we see that bible study is both head knowledge and heart knowledge aka feelings, but it is also actions. This was something that was a bit lacking in Chile where the bible studies are called bible courses and it’s very much about getting the right answer as opposed to exploring the text, sharing lives with one another through experiences and struggles, and praying with and for each other. Whilst Stephen said that we were lucky to have such an opportunity here, I did get a feeling that we could still be doing more; whilst we do these things, we tend to still hold back a bit in our sharing, almost in a sense of lacking passion and love for one another.
Finally after Bible study I went to Physical Training for some push-ups and core/ab work. It was a little disappointing that the only people there were Geoff and I, but we still did what we were there to do: get fit and pray.