Watershed Formation Studies

Chapter 9 - Christ

In chapter 8, we had our last fireside with the people in Babylon. In chapter 9, after an interlude of about 200 years, Gladding brings us into the gathering of another community — a house church hosted by a woman who, as a young girl, had witnessed Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. She begins to tell the Story that formed her ecclesia (congregation) to her guest, a local merchant, as others listen and sometimes contribute. Strange new things are happening, difficult to understand — God now seems to be three instead of One, and He is faithful to the covenant, even in temptation, where Israel was not. Jesus embodied God’s love and fidelity.

Chapter 8 - Conceit

In chapter 7, we heard of the era of the kings in Israel. In chapter 8, the old man’s story came to an end as he related the story of the kings of Israel and Judah, which ended in the current exile in Babylon. The people’s conceit had been their undoing. Throughout the evening’s story, the people wondered — would the Story of God end here in exile? They had acted against the Torah, living however they wanted and then dared to ask for God’s blessing. But even then God would not abandon them, inviting them always to return to covenant faithfulness.
blogEntryTopper

Chapter 7 - Crown

In chapter 6, we heard the story of the conquest of the land of Canaan and dealt with the difficult questions of God who seems to act like a tribal warlord. In chapter 7, the Israelites were still plagued by Canaanites who were left in the land, and many foreign gods were among them. They were a loose network of individual tribes, barely holding their own in the time of the judges. The people wanted a king like the nations around them had. The story became a cautionary tale, warning of the dangers of the affluence, oppression and state religion that marked Solomon’s reign.blogEntryTopper Read More...