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PLUM Churches:

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Weekly Bible Study

Since we can't meet in person for Bible Study (due to the coronavirus), we are now holding our Bible Studies via "conference calls".  

 

Bible study "conference call" times are:

Tuesdays: 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Wednesdays: 12:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Thursdays: 7:00 p.m.

To participate in the Bible Study, go to our Zoom page

 

WEEKLY STUDY GUIDE FOR WEEK BEGINNING MARCH 29

 

For a printable copy of this week's Bible Study, click HERE

 

THEME:  HOLY COMMUNION IS A FORETASTE OF THE FEAST TO COME

 

SCRIPTURE:  Mark 13.1-8, 24-37

 

READRamshaw, pages 43-46 and 71-77, Words Around the Fire, Gail Ramshaw, Pueblo Publishing Company, New York, New York, 1988.

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

 

There was a time when Holy Communion was offered only 6 times a year.  Later the frequency increased to once a month, then twice a month and now it is offered weekly.  Our current practice reflects Jesus’ words “as oft as (whenever) remember me.”  If we contemplate the role of Communion in the Easter Vigil, we might bring up a myriad of biblical memories of times when people sat and ate: the meal Abraham and Sarah placed before the visiting strangers, the roasted lamb served to the families just before they left Egypt, the diet of manna, quail and water provided in the desert, the wedding banquet to which the servants invited the homeless, the poor and the lame, and the last supper shared by Jesus and his disciples.

 

How interesting that during this health crisis, a common theme I have heard is that we are all in this together.  There is a sense of common experience, of neighborliness, and caring for those known and unknown.

 

Against this backdrop are the themes that arise out of Mark 13: Wake up – Keep watching – Wait – Be Aware.  Mark 13 is written in a style that is not easily understood by the modern reader.  It is often misinterpreted by those who claim special prophetic knowledge (similar to the Gnostic heretics of the 2nd Century).  The natural disasters and the conflicts between nations are not unknown to us.  Jesus suggests that these things should remind us that we live in last days and that the kingdom of God is near (a message that Jesus began to proclaim from the day he was baptized).  The key verse is verse 37:  And what I say to you I say to all:  Keep awake.”

 

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

1.   Take time to recall and discuss the various scenes of people eating together.  What do they tell you about Holy Communion?

2.   The disciples thought the Temple was indestructible, but Jesus predicts its downfall.  Can you recall something or a time that seemed indestructible, yet it was not permanent?

Holy Communion proclaims that Jesus our Savior is always with us and he will never abandon us.

 

APPLICATIONS

1.   Make a list or create an art form that illustrates the people,    past or present, who attend Holy Communion with you.

2.   When you consider the reading from Mark, especially the parable of the rich man who put his slaves in charge, how do the following items relate to the story:  A train or bus schedule, the length of the typical worship service in your congregation, the birth of a baby.

 

PRAYER

 

Restore in us, O God, the splendor of your love;

renew your image in our hearts, and all our sins remove.

 

O Spirit, wake in us the wonder of your power,

From fruitless fear unfurl our lives like springtime bud and flower.

 

Bring us, O Christ, to share the fullness of your joy;

Baptize us in the risen life that death cannot destroy.  Amen.

(ELW 328)

    

 
   
 

Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM), 405 Kennedy Avenue, Duquesne, PA 15110        412-466-7773