During Monday evenings, explore a theme from the Bible that relates to how we live out our faith. By looking deeper into the ways the Bible first spoke in its original cultural settings, we are better prepared to think faithfully and creatively about what Christian belief should be now, in our culture. As we take a conversational approach to reading scripture, we discover that it is less about arriving at “the one right answer” and more about opening ourselves up to see where God can be encountered in our lives and as we consider what contributes to the well-being of our neighbors.
November and December 2022
Mondays, November 28-December 12
7-8:30 pm (CT)
To Register: Register online; participation is open to all.
Description: Advent is a great time for exploring the ways we speak about Jesus as the “Messiah” sent by God. Historically Christians have turned to the Bible, especially the writings of the ancient prophets, for terms, titles, and symbols to describe Jesus’ arrival. Think of Handel’s Messiah and its songs about a “wonderful counselor,” a “refiner’s fire,” and “good tidings to Zion.” Where does that language come from and how does it tell us about Jesus? What did it originally mean for people to anticipate the Messiah (or Christ), and how have Christians understood the Old Testament to support their claim that Jesus is he? How does this history contribute to our worship at Christmastime and shape our imagination about what makes Jesus meaningful? Gathering online via Zoom on three Monday evenings, we will explore those questions, infusing our journey toward Christmas with more knowledge, heart, wonder, hope, and joy.
Format: Each session will begin with a presentation by the instructor, the Rev. Dr. Matt Skinner, followed by him answering questions from the participants. The final half hour will consist of informal small-group conversations, for those who choose to participate. The conversations will focus on discussion questions designed to help us consider how the Bible can continue to inform our faith and common life, especially during these challenging times.
Where: This program will be on Zoom (a free, internet-based teleconferencing service)
Rev. Dr. Matt Skinner is Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul and Scholar for Adult Education at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. As a writer and teacher, he is known for his ability to make biblical texts come alive and to illuminate how the Bible continues to fuel our imaginations about God and our faith.