Each Wednesday until 23rd November at 2.00pm in the Drop-In Centre at Mortdale Uniting Church we have a new Bible Study in which people are invited to bring their questions. We try to answer the questions or research them together.
"Image result for bible question mark": So far, a question was raised regarding the use of “us” in the reference to God in Genesis 1:26 “ Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness...” What was the use of the plural pronouns saying about God/s?
While this resonates with our belief in the Triune nature of God it was not necessarily the intention of the writer. As the idea of it referring to multiple gods was so contrary to the Jewish monotheistic belief we discounted that as a possibility. Our Commentaries suggested it referred to the angels of the heavenly council. The group suggested it might be used like the “royal we”.
In following this up to understand how the Jews understood its meaning I found indications they understand it to mean God and the angels, the heavenly council. There were others that said it was God and the earth from which humankind was made. That it was the “royal we” was also accepted.
Another question we discussed was about the Catholic’s practice of praying to Mary. We thought perhaps it was an act of humility to pray via Mary, or other saints, rather than praying directly to Jesus. We wondered if it was a way of honouring Mary. It is interesting to realise that we didn’t really know.
In following this up I learnt that primarily Mary is seen as one who can intercede for them. One writer explained it is similar to a Protestant asking a church leader to pray for them. Portions of the Catholic Catechism reads:
“Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus’ mother into our homes, for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope.” (Catechism, 2679)
“Because of Mary’s singular cooperation with the action of the Holy Spirit, the Church loves to pray in communion with the Virgin Mary, to magnify with her the great things the Lord has done for her, and to entrust supplications and praises to her.” (Catechism, 2682)
Other topics cover in the study were about the styles of baptism, and the variations in language and appearance of people.
Come along this Wednesday to ask, answer and discuss.
The annual St Matthews Garden Club is being held at 10.30am Sunday 25th September 2016.
The spring displays of previous years have been a delight for the eyes so we look forward to this year which will feature pot plants.
Visitors are very welcome to this or any services at St Matthews.
We hope the following FAQ answers any questions you might have about us. If not, please give us a call.
Q: What time is your worship service?
A: We have one service per week - Sunday at 10:30am.
Q: What time is Sunday School?
A: The Sunday School program runs at the same time as the service. The children join the congregation for a story and songs at the beginning of the service then move to the Sunday School after 10-12 minutes.