Read Through the Bible – Week 14

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Welcome to “Reading Through the Bible”

If you’ve been reading through the Bible with us, you’ve already come to see that the Bible is a diverse book filled with many different types of writing. If you’re new to this site, welcome! Please feel free to simply “jump in” – knowing that you’re joining many other people who have committed themselves to reading God’s Word together.

This week, we begin the story of Exodus. Perhaps, you watched the “10 Commandments” when you were a child, or maybe it’s an annual family tradition around Easter. I picture Yul Brynner standing toe-to-toe with Charlton Heston in an epic showdown between a rather simple man (named Moses) and the most powerful man in the world. But, as we enter Exodus this week, we need to remember that showdowns in the ancient world were not just conflicts between soldiers and nations – they were, also, seen as conflicts between the gods that the people served.

The Holy War tradition is deeply embedded in the words of the Bible. When the people of Israel moved into the Holy Land, they brought God with them. Every time the people of Israel went into battle, God traveled with them. As the soldier fought, God fought with them. The ancient peoples believed that, when they won a military battle, their gods had won the battle, too. This is important for us to remember as we move through the story of Exodus.

Exodus is NOT just a story about a showdown between Moses and the Pharaoh of Egypt. The story of Exodus is a story where the God of the Hebrews overpowers the gods of the Egyptians. This is the Holy War tradition. And the Holy War tradition is something that we need to keep in mind whether we’re reading through Exodus, through the story of the crumbling walls of Jericho, through the story of David and Goliath, or through the story of Jerusalem’s collapse before the overpowering forces of King Nebuchadnezzar II.

And so, here are this week’s readings:

Sunday: 1 Corinthians 11-12 – Monday: Exodus 1-4 – Tuesday: 1 Samuel 16-20 – Wednesday: Psalms 39-41 – Thursday: Job 27-28 – Friday: Jeremiah 7-11 – Saturday: Mark 7-8

Blessings!

Binding and Loosing

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I suspect that we all have times when we need to forgive.

People get hurt when other people speak or act too quickly. We’ve all had times when we have been offended by people that we know, or by people that we don’t know. We even have times in our live when we hurt ourselves by getting too puffed-up, or by thinking less of ourselves than we ought. We need to be forgiven by God and by other people, but we also have times when we’re the ones who need to forgive. And sometimes it’s easy – but sometimes it’s very hard.

In this week’s message, “Binding and Loosing”, we explore the fact that Jesus never said that forgiveness must always be offered quickly. Forgiveness and reconciliation are gifts that we offer to people who have hurt us, but they are also gifts that need to be extended in the “appropriate” time and in the “appropriate” way.

Forgiveness is NOT saying that what people did is no longer important and that it can simply be forgotten. The “Dance of Forgiveness” happens when the peace of Christ fills our hearts and when the breath of Jesus fills our souls. The “Dance of Forgiveness” happens when we get to the point in our lives when we’re able to release the hurt that we feel, and when we can honestly and authentically ask ourselves what must happen in order for reconciliation to occur.

Blessings!