St George the Martyr Church, Shirley

Lent Course 2018 – Les Misérable

Another Story Must Begin
Weekly Course points below

Lent Course – NEW

This year’s St George’s Lent Course is designed so that participants can share seeing the film “Les Miserables” and then, in smaller groups over a five week period, explore the meaning and implications of the film – including Bible references and the realities of and for the 21st Century Church and World. There is an option to borrow the film for individual or small group viewing.
These on-line notes, and the opportunity to share notes on-line, are intended to offer just a little bit of the Course experience to those who can only take part in this way. They need perhaps a minimum of 15 minutes in each of the five weeks of Lent; though, of course, it is up to you how you use them.

Five Bible Passages to read and to think about
The Bible is described as God’s Word; but useful Bible reading isn’t just a matter of learning the words and applying them. Sometimes, it is best to read the passage, and then deal with “If that means what I think it means, I don’t actually agree!” Jesus asked for quite a lot of re-thinking about traditional understanding of Old Testament teaching; and we sometimes need to think hard about some traditional understanding of New Testament teaching
1. Isaiah 58: 1-12 A vision of hope for the future, but also an admonition about true and false worship. The passage from Isaiah 58:1–12 is an optional Old Testament reading for Ash Wednesday. It is an excellent text to reect on throughout Lent, which should not only be an opportunity to give things up, but to reassess how we do things. This passage comes from the end of what is often called Deutero-Isaiah, because it was written during the exile and proclaims the return of the Israelites to Jerusalem and eventually the rebuilding of the Temple. This makes it particularly symbolic for a period of Lenten reection, because just as we await the resurrection and the triumph of Christ, we need to consider what is wrong with our lives, both  personally and in the society in which we live. As we assess our past we should have a renewed vision of the future.

2. Luke 10: 25-37
3. Ezekiel 36: 22-32
4. Psalm 1
5. Romans 3: 21=26

Five Key Messages
1. We are called to walk with Christ through a broken and hurting world, reaching out to others in grace and love.
2. Cast-iron laws, unbending moral values, and dogmatic certainty, don’t leave room for compassion and redemption3. Definitive answers can be very comforting, but maybe God doesn’t work that way.
4. Recognising reality doesn’t rule out optimism.
5. We need a lot of praying to get a right balance between justice and mercy.