Christus Victor

Making Christ Known

We are an Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) congregation growing in the likeness of Christ by:

Worshiping, praying, and studying God’s word;
Being together with other people; and
Acting in faith through words and deeds both inside and outside our church walls.

Ch 3 Question: Why was Joseph given an Egyptian burial instead of being returned to "oaks of Mamre" following family tradition?

The Bible is silent about this one.  According to tradition, Joseph was buried in Shechem.  The Bible does say that Joseph was embalmed, but so was Jacob (Genesis 50:2).  While there is much said about Jacob's burial, it is a curiosity as to how the body of Joseph got to Shechem--if that tradition is even accurate.  Perhaps it was simply enough that the patriarchs of the Hebrew people (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) were buried together ending one chapter (book) and starting another (book).

Chapter 1 Question: In Chapter 1, it says "Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.'" How can God be plural?

There are several names for God used in Genesis: One is God, another is LORD God, a third is LORD.  LORD is Yahweh in Hebrew; LORD God is Yahweh Elohim, and God is Elohim.  Elohim is a plural noun.  We suspect the original meaning in the pre-Hebraic tongue was “council of the gods.”  You ask how can God be plural.  I suggest that God is not only a “he” but also a “she.”  I would go further and say that God is beyond male and female, yet both sexes were made in the image of God, the imago Dei.

General Question: How can I share The Story experience with my family?

This depends in large part upon the configuration of your family, but here are some suggestions.

1.     Worship together and find some time, perhaps in the car on the way home or over Sunday brunch or dinner, to discuss what you heard and learned about this week’s chapter.

2.    Encourage all members of the family to participate in a small group for discussion (including children’s Sunday school) and discuss what you learned.

3.    Commit to memorizing a bible verse for each chapter.  You can use the verse listed at the top of each chapter in the Readers Guide or the “key verse” on the SS handouts.

4.    If you have younger children, use the picture versions of The Story as part of your regular read-aloud time.  Consider reading the week’s story each night.  The repetition may drive the adults crazy, but it will really help you all to learn the story.

5.    Even older children still like to read aloud.  If you are using “The Story for Kids,” read a portion of the chapter each night for a week.

6.    The Story Teen curriculum has great summary videos of each chapter that you can find on YouTube.  They are animated and appropriate for all ages.  Watch and discuss together.  Here’s a sample from chapter 3:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOCiHSiAITQ&list=PLu-cl9pQr79FQBvSNLmCtfdznq4au96Wv&index=2

 7.     Work The Story into your existing family devotions, if you have them.  Discuss the stories over dinner or at bedtime prayers.

8.    If you are looking for a family devotion, check out faith5.org for a simple way to get your family started in this practice.  Use the weekly stories or key verses as the basis for the “Read” and “Talk” portion of the Faith5.

9.    As you go through your weeks and days, think about ways that your story connects to the Biblical story and make those connections real for your family.  For example – “Today I had a chance to help someone at work and it reminded me of when God called Abraham and told him he was blessed to be a blessing to others……….”   “When you were fighting with your sister and complaining that nothing is fair, it reminded me of Joseph and his brothers……….”

 

If you have found other ways to bring your family together around The Story, please share!!