In the last few weeks our Adult Bible Study has begun exploring some ancient Jewish Scriptures called Apocrypha. These are books written in the period when the Jewish people lived under the influence of Greek and Roman domination and culture. Books like Judith, Tobit and the Books of Maccabees have something to say to us in our day. Like these ancient authors, we ask: How do we live as citizens of God's Kingdom, in the midst of a culture that often operates at cross purposes with our values as God's people?
The wisdom of the books of the Apocrypha suggest that as individuals and as a community of faith we present an alternative lifestyle to our culture -- to be neighbors to those around us, to give alms to those in need, to engage in the spiritual practices of prayer, fasting and Sabbath-keeping.
Those ancient Jewish communities also stood up to the might and injustice of oppressors. In our time there are many political and cultural forces disregarding the dignity of other people. We can proclaim our identity as God's people by standing up against bigotry and violence and to protect the defenseless, especially children and immigrants. We can defend our planet against careless destruction in keeping with the biblical mandate to both use the earth and conserve it.
We would love to have you come join our conversations and learn from these texts of ancient spiritual wisdom Sunday mornings at 9:15 (Click here for the schedule). Our forebears have something to teach us.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!