Wednesday, September 30, 2009

God’s Covenant of Love & Peace, Not Fear

I am enjoying introducing our women's Bible study to the Ignatius Spiritual Exercises using Fr. Joseph Tetlow's Choosing Christ in the World.

Week 2: September 30, 2009  
Scripture: Isaiah 54: 6-10
Lecture Slides: God’s Covenant of Love & Peace, Not Fear
Movie Clip: Scenes 1 & 2, Main Title/”Spare Me” & In Fear of God, Luther (2003 movie)

Today, we explored a few of the many powerful images in our 2 Isaiah readings this week - nursing mother loving her vulnerable child and a barren woman's joy with her children. I ran out of time to explore this fully, but in today's Isaiah reading, we are also invited to unparalleled intimacy with God. God calls himself not just our Maker, Redeemer but also Husband. This is another powerful word picture coming from the mouth of God: the deserted wife comforted by her husband with great compassion: everlasting love (hesed) and the covenant of peace (shalom meaning wholeness). These are fabulous divine promises. 

What does our reading in Isaiah mean for our life and faith? There's a lot of promises from God here: Don't be afraid, no shame, no anger. Instead, there's a passionate invitation to seek intimacy with Him. We are encouraged to practice spiritual discernment. Spiritual discernment means choosing among 2 or more good things by seeing them through God's eyes. It is a critical component for a growing, personal relationship and intimacy with God.  In Isaiah, we see God is active, working, powerful, in the world. God is also continually creating us anew, evolving us towards love (spiritual wholeness, holiness/righteousness) and a rational priority of material things. Creating space to listen and hear God daily allows Him, not me or my ego or flesh, to shape our basic life more and be transformed to Christ-likeness. The links above are to the slides presented today and earlier lecture slides are below.

Week 1, September 23, 2009

Scripture: Galatians 5: 22-23
Lecture Slides: Living by the Spirit vs. Sarx
Movie Clip: Scene 2, In Fear of God, Luther (2003 movie)

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