It is always so exciting to start a new bible study. I find that after a short break, like the one we just had, I am always chomping at the bit to delve into a new book of study. I hope that all of you find as much enjoyment and thrill out of reading this week’s study material as I have experienced.
A few years ago, I had the fortune of going to Yellowstone Park. If you’ve never been, let me just say that it is truly amazing and awe-inspiring. I reveled at nature that I have never seen before . . . melting pots, huge boulders that had been moved and left by glaciers, snow in June (there were days we wore coats and other days we wore shorts) and the Yellowstone Grand Canyon which looks so full of colors that it appears that it had been painted. It seemed so unreal but also so beautiful! On that trip, more so than any other family vacation, I felt very close to nature.
It was astonishing how huge and powerful nature can be. But there was also a peace about it. In the midst of the danger, I saw peace and tranquility. Yellowstone Park is the residence of a HUGE caldera that could erupt, as evident in the gushers, like Old Faithful, steam rising from out of the ground in many places, and bubbling mud pits. However, Yellowstone Park also houses many forms of wildlife (bison, elk, moose, wolves, bear, etc.) and vegetation. You can see there a large swath of land destroyed by wildfire at one time, now rebounding with new life.
New life, in the midst of destruction, can be found everywhere. For instance, sometimes we see photos taken from war zones that depict peace in the midst of chaos. A small flower in a war-torn area, riddled with debris and hints of despair, is so uplifting. Peace can be found everywhere, if we just look for it. God gave us this peace. He shows us that it is possible. May God help our brothers and sisters who are trying to survive in the midst of total inhumanity. May he help them find peace.
For this week, please read the following:
- Information regarding The Letter From Paul to the Romans (in the ICSB pages 13-14) and any additional sources you wish to utilize (i.e. bible, online, etc.). I have included some information on the Life Giving Bread Website under the heading “Romans.” Feel free to add information you find by filling in the “Share Your Thoughts” at the bottom of the Romans page.
- Introduction (Romans 1:1-17)
- Humanity without Christ – Part 1 (Romans 1:18-2:29)
The following are some questions I have compiled for this group. Please ponder on these and any questions in your study guide. In addition, please “Share your thoughts” on the bottom of the Week 1 page or on the Life Giving Bread Facebook page so that we all can connect with one another as a true bible study group.
- What verse(s) stood out to you and why?
- Do you see God’s grandeur in nature? If so, give examples. (see Romans 1:18-20)
- How do people in our society today go against nature? In what ways are they knowingly hurting their relationship with God? (see Romans 1:18-32)
- Do you, or do all of us as a society, approve of others’ sins? Even if we do not commit a particular sin ourselves, how are we to blame if we approve of the sin of others? (see Romans 1:32)
- “Do you not know that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). How earnest are you in repenting? How important is repentance? (see Romans 2:1-14).
- We all will be judged by God. To be saved, we must live our lives according to God’s will. We must practice what Jesus Christ preached (see Romans 2:12-13). How well do you live your life?
- From whom do you seek praise, others or God? (see Romans 2:29)
- Additional Questions found in your study guide or in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible – The Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (page 43).