USING THE BIBLE

Tool 2.7 There are different ways of listening to the wisdom of the Bible in relation to facilitation and reflection on 'what we do and why we do it'.

Bible a) Look for biblical themes, images and stories which relate to the issue or event that has been identified (Step 1 of the FBF process). You will probably need a Bible concordance or index to help find the themes. This approach will take a lot of time but it can lead to unexpected insights and learning.

b) Brainstorm. It works well when a group of people identifies a number of the passages from the Bible that relate to the issue or event. Having identified a number of possible passages, agree on one to begin with, and then study it together. This approach can help people see things in new ways as different group members share their responses and spark insights off each other. It is important to encourage the group to choose Bible passages that will challenge them, not just ones that reinforce what they already believe. Remember the Holy Spirit is sometimes a 'disturber' as well as a 'comforter'.

c) Learn by using 'given' passages. Sometimes fresh insight and understanding of an Event or Issue can come by focusing on a particular passage. Or, if you are reading your way through a particular book of the Bible you could take that day's chapter and see if there are truths that are particularly relevant to the situation. Or you could respond in the same way to a passage 'given' to you through a sermon or a Bible study at church. Diligence and honesty in responding to the questions raised by verses of the Bible are, of course, key to the value of the exercise.

d) Bible passages helpful as a background for facilitation work. Please do not restrict your Bible study, in relation to facilitation, to the passages and verses suggested below. However the following selection may be helpful:

» Deuteronomy 10:12-20; Love of God includes love for widows, orphans and strangers

» Ruth; Read the whole book

» 1 Samuel 16:7; The Lord looks on the heart

» 2 Samuel 12:1-13; David's misuse of power for his own ends, and his recognition and admission of wrong

» Jeremiah 1:10; Tear down and plant

» Isaiah 61:1-4; Good news for the oppressed; the repair of ruined cities and the devastations of many generations

» Ezekiel 37:1-11; The Spirit of God gives new bodies and breathes new life into what was previously just a valley of dry bones

» Hosea 1-3; Hosea's commitment to his wife in spite of her unfaithfulness is compared with God's continuing love for his people, even when they have forsaken him or disobeyed him

» Matthew 4:1-11; Jesus' temptations in the wilderness

» Mark 6:30-44 and Luke 9:10-17; Compare these two accounts of the feeding of the five thousand

» Luke 5:12-16; Jesus heals a person affected by leprosy

» Luke 8: 42-48; Healing of the 'unclean' woman with a haemorrhage

» Luke 15:1-7; Jesus' love of the lost and the rejected

» Luke 18:9-14; Pharisee and sinner

» John 4:1-26; The Samaritan woman at the well

» John 8:1-11; The woman caught in adultery

» John 9:1-5; Jesus heals a man blind from birth (infirmity and sin?)

» Colossians 3:3; Life hidden with Christ in God

» 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Qualities expected of leaders

» James 2:1-13; What it really means to love your neighbour

» 1 Peter 3:4; A gentle and quiet spirit

» 1 Peter 4:13; Sharing the sufferings of Christ

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