Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Bible Study

At St. Columba's, we have a study group that meets to engage the Gospel for the upcoming Sunday. We meet early on Wednesday mornings at 6:30. I make much about the insanity of the hour, but I am there most of the time. The opportunity to study the lessons for Sunday with the people that will hear my sermon is invaluable. Knowing the questions, that some have, is very useful for sermon preparation.

This morning, we grappled with John 13:31-35. It is the text where Jesus speaks of his glorification in betrayal, and commands the disciples to love one another, as He loves them. It is a foundational text for the Church, and it should be the music playing in the background to all we do.

This morning after the Bible study, I had a funny thought. Jesus is preparing his disciples for his departure. He is reminding them, that the heart of the Gospel and the coming Kingdom are bound up in agape:love. The Gospel according to John is, obviously, written after the life, death, resurrection and ascension. So, the material preserved is shaped by the past and present of the Christian community. They remember how and what Jesus said to encourage them, and form them as his disciples to make it through his exit. Yet, they remember, principally, to live and follow forever.
Every time we gather around the Bible, we remember. Yet, we remember to live now and forever.

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