or CONTEXTUAL QUIET-TIME RAMBLINGS: From Sunday to Saturday
Reflect how these words can become your own.
MONDAY: God as Norm
Questions to consider
Is God like a Father, or is He our Father? Is God like our fathers, or are our fathers supposed to be like God?
Some argue that Jesus was never faced with as much temptation as we have today. Others believe that because Jesus was a Hebrew/a man/unmarried etc… he couldn’t possibly understand the unique struggles we are going through today. However, God understands us not only because Jesus became a human being and suffered; but also because God created us. He knows our inmost being.
We best learn fatherhood not by looking at our fathers but rather by seeing God as Father, Our fathers (and we as fathers) must be like God. The same applies to mothers. In God and His relation to us we find what a perfect mother can and must be.
Similarly, we learn what is good not because it is good for us, but because God says so. Through our Christian walk, we eventually learn that the perfect ideal… for humanity, singleness, to maleness/femaleness, to being in love, or any situation… is found in God who created us.
TUESDAY: Jesus as interpreter
Questions to Consider
How long would it have taken us, if we were the two walking with Jesus, to recognise that it was truly our Lord? Why did it take them so long? What does “then their eyes were opened” mean? Is it God’s doing, man’s reasoning, both or other?
What an amazing thing to experience; being taught the Bible by Jesus! If only “our hearts burned” all the time when we sat at the desks of SAIACS. Yet Jesus’ teaching alone did not remove the shackles. The true realisation of who Jesus was came during ‘communion’. When Jesus broke bread and gave thanks, the human/physical/teaching rabbi was clarified as actually being the risen saviour, Lord and God. But notice that rather than break into a prayer meeting, the awestruck Emmaus disciples immediately recalled Jesus’ teaching from the scriptures. Then these disciples ‘proclaimed’ what they had seen to the other disciples. Clearly, Jesus impacted the disciples in mind, in spirit and in action. Which reminds us that teaching, communion and mission go hand in hand.
WEDNESDAY: Equality a Future Reality?
Questions to consider
What does it mean to say that we are all one in Christ? We are not supposed to treat slaves any different from those who are free, we are not supposed to treat Jews any different from Gentiles, so how are we supposed to treat women and men?
Paul was one of the few Christians who fought for Jewish/Gentile equality. And also, while he allowed slavery, and operated within the premise that slavery would continue till the coming of Christ, he seemed to suggest that slaves could seek their freedom if their masters allowed. Where does that leave men/women relations? Could there be a possibility that while Paul was speaking at his time, accepting a place for women and slaves; there would come a time when the distinction between Jew/Gentile would become irrelevant, that there would come a time when there would be no slave; and when there would be no difference between a Christian man and a Christian woman?
THURSDAY: Logos Christianity
Question to Consider
If you were to employ your hermeneutical skills on this passage (ie. look at the context… cf. Hebrew 1:1), how would you define the ‘word of God’ and this passage?
Rarely, if ever, does the Bible refer to itself. Instead, the Bible seems to be a witness to Jesus, our Saviour, who is indeed the son of God through whom, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we see who God truly is. Through this Jesus we have life, and have it in full. The Bible is a witness to this Jesus—the Word of God.
FRIDAY: Faith and Works
Questions to consider
Do you have a problem with this passage (ie. do you feel a little of what Martin Luther felt)? We understand that James says that faith without works is dead; but what examples of works is James promoting?
A common struggle among Christians is that we know that many Hindus/Muslims are often more ‘moral’/’ethical’ than Christians. The question therefore remains, will good people from other faiths go to heaven? James hints at an answer. Someone could tell a Christian, “You have faith; I have deeds,” and James’ reply to them would be “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do” (vs. 18-19). This suggests at least that James is not bypassing faith, and that is the key.
SATURDAY: At the Cross
Spend time in quiet reflection on the events depicted, and respond as the Lord leads.