The parallel-text Bible study met on Sunday, and included Jean, who hosted, Bill, Ken, Roger, Lisa and me. Jean made sweet potato biscuits and iced tea, and Lisa brought M&M cookies. We don't meet to eat, but it's a pleasant surprise when homemade food appears, if not good for my diet!
We discussed a long passage (nine pages) of Jesus' prophecies for the future.
As is familiar, Jesus foretells a present age filled with wars and famines, earthquakes and floods, and a time of desolation and abomination. We're warned against false prophets and advised, implicitly, to listen to our own inner guides. We're promised that after a period of tribulation, if we can just hang on faithfully, relief will come and new earth will dawn.
Interestingly, in a passage that follows Jesus talks about separating those who fed the poor, clothed the naked, visited the prisoner, etc. from those who did not, but he speaks in terms of nations that have acted with compassion being separated from nations who have not. This is not about individual salvation but about salvation through community. It pulls the focus from us an individuals and puts it on the larger body of Christ. Do you agree with this reading?