Welcome to a new series of articles with the Bible at its heart. As many of you will be aware 2009 is the year when the URC is having a particular focus on the Bible. The national church is producing many interesting, thought-provoking resources to look at the Bible on its website, so we thought it would be worth sharing some of these in our magazine, in a way that would allow you, the reader, to dip in and out as and when you are able.

We begin with a double helping. Part 1 ties in very well with the message that Miss Barbara Hillier brought to us at a service in February:-

Part 1: Heart, Soul Mind and Strength

Start by reading Mark 12:30, where in response to being asked which commandment is the greatest one of all, Jesus says "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." Then spend some time thinking about the following:-

 

All your heart

Sally has set her heart on a dishwasher; Rick wants a holiday.

  • What did you last set your heart on?
  • What does it mean for you to love God with your whole heart?

All your soul

Bea says your life needs rhythm to have real "soul". For Jake the essence
of "soul" is compassion.

  • What is the most important characteristic of "soul" for you?
  • What does it mean for you to love God with all your soul?

All your mind

Jan is a dedicated soap opera fan: Pete loves computers.

  • What most occupies your mind?
  • What does it mean for you to love God with your whole mind?

All your strength

Ian puts all his effort into his work; Beulah is trying to get their
daughter into the top local school.

  • What motivates you to spend that much effort?
  • What does it mean for you to love God with your whole
    strength?

For next time.. .Part 2: A Timeline for Jesus

During a service in March we thought about the events in Jesus' life, so if you missed this, why not try the following?

Take a blank piece of paper, turn it to landscape (so that it is wider than it is tall), and draw a line across the middle of the page from side to side. This line represents the passing of time in the life of Jesus. Now write on as many events in the life of Jesus as you can, from the earliest events at the left-hand end of the line, to the most recent at the right (you may need to use more than one page for your timeline!). Refer to the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), and any other books of the Bible that you wish. In preparation for next time, you might like to consider if there are any difficulties with placing events, or surprises that are revealed...

Chris Noyce