A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Weekly Bible Study Notes

Here at Lancaster First UMC, I am privileged to be part of two weekly bible study groups that study the scriptures for the upcoming Sunday worship services.

Below are the notes from this week's bible study:

- Overview of “In Concert with God” sermon series:
1) Music and the Christian faith have a strong connection – explore this connection.
2) Different styles of music – how can the different styles inform our faith?
3) My New Testament professor in seminary would play a musical composition on the piano following his teaching on the scriptures that would capture the theme/emotion of the text we studied. This experience inspired me to put together this sermon series.
4) Fun series, especially for potential visitors and people new to the faith. Music is a good bridge to help people connect with their faith.

- Classical Music this Sunday (Sept. 12) Without giving away the sermon this Sunday, the bible study today will only focus on the main text which is about the importance of music and faith.

- Overview of II Chronicles:
1) Begins with the reign of King Solomon, continues with the kings of Judah, and goes to the Babylonian exile and the destruction of the Temple.
2) I Chronicles ends with King David preparing for the eventual fundraising and building of the Temple. Draw comparisons with our present “Living Vine” campaign for our new Crossroads facility.
3) II Chronicles begins with the new reign of King Solomon with a heavy focus on the new Temple.
4) Sunday’s reading is a parade like atmosphere where the ark is processed through the city and into the Temple and Solomon will later give a dedication speech.

- Read II Chronicles 5:2-14
1) Key verses for our “In Concert with God” are 11-14 which highlights the music of this special day of dedication for the Temple.
2) How this relates to classical music – find out this Sunday!
3) List all the instruments:
Levitical singers, cymbals, harps, lyres, 120 trumpeters
4) Lyrics of music – “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
5) Glory of the Lord fills the place. The priests couldn’t continue to lead in worship because of the glory of God. That’s what we want for this Sunday!

- General Thoughts about Music and Our Faith
1) Some churches discourage singing. Charles Wesley helped Methodists to sing their faith. Methodist theology!
2) Music is a touchy subject like the temperature of the sanctuary. Goal is to appreciate different styles of music.
3) We often focus on the melody more than the lyrics. We should focus on the lyrics, too.
4) Do you like/listen to classical music? Why? How does it help you connect with your faith?


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