September 2016

Sacred Discussion Group 3rd September 2016

Another bright morning made the early start to the day worthwhile and a lively chat over breakfast at 8.30a.m. was followed by the Discussion Group at 9.00a.m.

This month’s reading began with the final chapter from the first book of Samuel and the death of Saul, the Israelites first king, and of his sons including Jonathan, David’s friend, leaving no natural successor.

After one Psalm emphasizing the power and strength of God we moved on to the book of Titus, a short book of only three chapters. Paul left Titus to appoint elders for the newly formed churches in every town on the island of Crete who were to nurture the faith of those already within the church family and demonstrate to others by words and actions the truth and power of the gospel message.

Following a psalm of thanksgiving we moved on to the second book of Samuel and the beginning of David’s reign as the new king, Israel’s greatest king, anointed by God.

David fell from grace during his reign but learned from his mistakes and never moved so far from God that he couldn’t find his way back and so he maintained a close relationship with God.

David grieved and mourned the deaths of Saul and Jonathan, his close friend, even though he had suffered from Saul’s aggressive, paranoid, behaviour. Neither do we like to speak ill of the dead, rather we prefer to reflect on their good points, praying for God’s grace on all who fall short of his good example, including ourselves.

Trying to rationalise the many examples of violence in the Old Testament with the love and compassion of the Jesus of the New Testament has kept scholars busy throughout the intervening years. Simply it is not possible. What we can and should do is decide how we approach issues of warfare today. We discussed in depth whether there can ever be a ‘just war’.

As we teach children to love and respect one another and admonish any bad behaviour, so for the sake of the oppressed we take to task those doing the oppressing. If we get no positive response what do we do? Jesus, in his teachings put no such caveats on his command to love one’s enemies.

On a lighter note we then went on to discuss any encounters with angels who may have intervened to save us from danger! A big subject which left us very little time to study the rest of 2 Samuel and David’s reign which pointed us forward to the Son of David who also came to save us.

All are invited to the next meeting Saturday 1st October. Breakfast at 8.30am. Discussion Group starts at 9.00am.