Vicar Dan’s Dialogue
Thoughts for the One Year Bible Readings
Each week, Vicar Dan shares some background on the One Year Bible for the week and then offers some questions for thought.
Ezra can be confusing because it jumps around in time and switches from third to first person. It follows the course of the Jews during four Assyrian kings: Cyrus (550-530 BC), Darius (522-486), Xerxes I (486-465), and Artaxerxes I (465-424). In 538 Cyrus allows the Jews to return to Jerusalem and the rest of Judah from the exile which began in 587. The Jews rebuild the Temple under Cyrus and Darius, but Artaxerxes keeps them from rebuilding Jerusalem. In chapter 7, the book switches to the first person log of Ezra, a Jewish scribe sent by Artaxerxes to establish order according to the laws of Moses.
1 Corinthians 1:1- 7:24
Paul's first letter to the Corinthians was written around 54. He had traveled to Corinth, a bustling urban center, earlier in his ministry and formed a church made up primarily of gentiles of various races. He had been in contact with them via letters, but this is the first one we have. Paul writes to a people who are divided, especially in regard with who to follow and how to conduct themselves. This week Paul pleads that they would be united in Christ, not divided in following others. Paul also pleads that they would try to lead pure lives and recognize that their faith calls them to avoid immorality, especially sexual immorality since our bodies are given to us from God.
So What Do You Think?
- Ezra starts where 2 Chronicles left off – with King Cyrus freeing the people. But Cyrus doesn't simply free them, he sends them back to Judah to do something. What are they now freed to do?
- What do you make of Ezra's confession in Ezra 9:15? Why was confessing their guilt an important thing for Ezra? What lessons could we learn?
- In Ezra 8:28 we read that the priests are set apart to be holy. Compare that verse with 1 Corinthians 1:2. Luther developed an idea called the priesthood of all believers. Reading these verses, what do you think Luther meant by that?
- In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul says that our bodies are temples. We have read a lot about the Temple recently in Chronicles and Ezra, so what do you think Paul means?
- We read a lot about the wisdom of God versus the wisdom of the world. How would you describe the difference between God's wisdom and our own?
- In 1 Corinthians 7:7, Paul says some have been given the gift of singleness. If you are single, have you ever thought of that as a gift? How is singleness a gift?
Hear anything for Zion?
Read what others are saying about the One-Year Bible.
Read —“I appeal to you by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop arguing among yourselves. Let there be harmony among you so there won't be divisions in the church. ” — 1 Corinthians 1:10
Listen — Take some time (anywhere from 10 seconds to 1 hour) to listen to God in prayer this week after reflecting on this verse.
This week’s topic: Unity
How could Zion respond to Paul's appeal?
Tell — If something interesting strikes you, share it with us. Next week fill out a sheet in the fellowship hall and put it in the box there. Or you can email your response to Vicar Dan. Responses will be anonymously posted unless you ask that it not be posted. If you would like to share an insight on a different passage from this week’s readings, please feel free to do so.
These responses will also be made available to the Visioning Team (anonymously) to help them in the visioning process. We encourage you to take part in the visioning of the Church by listening to God while reading the Bible and then telling us what you hear God saying.
another WindyRidge design!