Following directly on from the last post, I did indeed manage to finish all the work before the session last week. I will be honest and say that I was a bit disappointed with the material, it didnt have much depth, and some of the readings were kind of predictable; The gospel reading was Prodigal Son. I know it is an important parable and a good example of God’s unconditional love for us, but recently it seems to have cropped up all over the the place in the various studies I am involved in. I joked to a friend that I might try and present it from the point of view of the fatted calf as all human angles had been covered multiple times, she told me that she had seen that one done too!
However, I really enjoyed the session on Tuesday evening, and the opportunity to get to know a little more about the people I will be studying alongside over the coming months.
This week I have planned my time properly. I have only two out of the six readings still to do, and will be doing at least one of them when I finish writing this. The concept of me doing one piece of work each day was never going to happen, I am hopeless at that and always have been. I have enjoyed the readings, the them this week is Wonder, and we are looking at Creation, and at examples of God’s creative wonders in rest of the Bible. I have been aware for years that there are two separate creation stories in the Bible, in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, and have read and compared them both over the years. I had forgotten that the one in Genesis 2 doesnt suggest any time frame for the creation. I am not a “young earth” creationist. I struggle with the creation/Adam and Eve/geological evidence/evolution thing. I didnt in the past, I had decided it was a sort of parable so that the Patriarchs could understand creation. As I have read more, learnt more, talked about it all more I have started to struggle more. A couple of weeks ago the Jewish festival of Rosh Hashanah marked the start of Jewish Year 5774, which in Judaism is taken to mean it is 5,774 years since God made Adam and Eve. I can go with that now, just not the suggestion that everything else was created in the five days previous to that. I do believe the world is at least millions, perhaps billions, of years old. And although this isn’t in the coursework until next week, I do believe in The Fall. My current theory, for what it is worth, is that the world existed for millions of years, but God gave Adam and Eve a soul 5,774 years ago. Previously the hominids such as Australopithecus and Homo Erectus has been animals, creatures without a soul; no “missing link” because there wasnt one. Arrived at this theory after discussion with a friend about it a couple of weeks ago – thanks, you know you are.
I digress, one of my particular skills. Why is this post headed “Getting Choral”? As part of the work for each day this week we are told to either read aloud or sing a hymn – different one each day. I felt very very silly reading a hymn out loud in a house which at the time had people in it. So downloaded the relevant hymns and played them through my headphones, and sang along to them. Felt much less silly. However, totally forgot that others in house couldn’t hear the music on my headphones, just me singing, apparently unaccompanied, very very badly. I am not clear why we had to sing, all may become apparent on Tuesday evening. I have checked, we don’t have to sing next week. I hope we dont have to sing again.
Job appeared again this week, as day 4 reading, chapters 38 to 41. These chapters really do sum up that God is all powerless and we are totally powerless, a fact I need to be reminded of on a frequent basis. The first time I looked at Job was when I was reading “The Bible Jesus Read” by Philip Yancey. Until then I had been unaware that Job was being tested by Satan with God’s agreement, so God could show Satan how faithful and Godly Job was. And despite everything which happens to him, Job stays faithful to God. Not sure I could have done.
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