BIBLE STUDY AND PRAYER MINISTRY
This year, our Bible Study and Prayer Ministry group is facilitating an adult faith formation program called MATTTHEW developed by Ascension Press with Jeff Cavins.
This study brings the Gospel to life. It draws us closer to Christ.
We will see Jesus as the awaited Messiah who fulfills the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament, establishes the new law, and inaugurates the Kingdom of Heaven.
Set in the rich context of Jesus’ life, Matthew shows us who Jesus is and what his life and teachings mean for us today.
Bible Study meets on
- Monday mornings at 9:30 to Noon and
- Tuesday evenings from 6:45 to 9:15 in the Parish Hall.
We always welcome new members.
We learn about Jesus’ genealogy. In his record of Jesus’ genealogy, Matthew includes people who were renowned sinners and of questionable background. Matthew, who himself turned from a life of sin to follow Jesus, was likely drawing our attention to God’s infinite love and mercy. No matter how dark someone’s past or their previous sinful actions, with true repentance and God’s love and mercy they can be healed and reformed. God has a role for each of us in his plan of salvation. Jesus was the Christ (Messiah or Saviour) and King, whom the Jewish people, who had lived through slavery and exile, were long awaiting to redeem them. Jesus came to earth to lead all people from the exile and slavery of sin to the promised land of new life (the Kingdom of Heaven).
In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth, He highlights how the magi (wise men or kings) from foreign lands made long and difficult journeys to find and worship Jesus. In contrast, most of Jesus’ own Jewish people are initially troubled or unmoved by his birth, while King Herod, the Jewish king at the time, tries to kill him. Matthew also points to prophecies from ancient prophets Isaiah and Micah, which show Jesus to be the promised saviour and fulfillment of God’s promise. How does the story of Jesus’ birth relate to our own lives? Are we excited about God’s presence in our lives and do we continue to search for him earnestly as the magi did? Or are we indifferent to God and do we seem ungrateful for the many blessings He has given us? Do we have room for God to be born in our hearts? Or are we like the inn keepers at the time of Jesus’ birth who had no room available? Let us pray for the grace to grow closer to God, each day of our lives.
John the Baptist was chosen by God to prepare Israel for the coming of the Messiah (Jesus). John performs his mission by preaching a strong message of repentance. He urges the people to turn away from sin and come back to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand. To begin their journey of repentance, John baptizes the people in the River Jordan. Jesus begins his public ministry by being baptized by John. In this incredible event, Jesus identifies himself with the sinners he has come to redeem, by taking on their humanity and sin, so that they can share in His divinity and rise to new life. This awesome event also revealed Jesus as the Messiah. The heavens opened, from which a dove descended upon Jesus, and God’s voice was heard proclaiming Jesus to be His Son on whom God’s favour rested. The dove represented the Holy Spirit, through which Jesus was anointed, revealing Him as the Messiah or “anointed one”. This awesome event initiates the Sacrament of Baptism. We are baptized into Jesus death which removes our sins (by being immersed in the water) and then rise to new life by sharing in his resurrection (coming up from the water). We are also named and claimed as adopted children of God.