Changes to Illuminate

Almost six years ago, we launched Illuminate, a six-year collection of twenty-four studies on the Old and New Testament. That cycle is coming to a close this summer, and in the fall, we’ll be starting a series of fifty-two lessons in four studies, all from the life of Jesus. These lessons – intended for adult Sunday school classes, small group gatherings, and in-home Bible studies – are designed to provide a solid biblical basis for the uniquely Quaker perspective of how Christ’s presence with us informs our reading of Scripture and our vision for the purpose to which Christ calls us today.

Each lesson includes three scripture passages. The first reference gives context for a saying or teaching of Jesus from the gospel of Matthew and will serve as the central Scripture focus. The second reference is for an Old Testament passage that serves as a foundation for Jesus’ words. The third reference is a New Testament passage that illustrates a way in which Jesus’ words were lived out in the early church, demonstrating for us a trajectory or direction in which the Spirit has worked and continues working in us and through us.

With this new series, we wanted to give group members better tools for engaging Scripture together, so the participant guides now have a brief introduction and three sets of questions for each Scripture passage: questions for comprehension, questions for reflection, and questions for application. At the same time, we know that commentary on the passages can be an invaluable tool for group facilitators, so the facilitator guide will continue to include “Illuminate the Passage” essays for each scripture section as well as learning objectives, a suggested opening activity, and a “Living It Out Together” section at the end of each lesson.

Over this next year, we’ll be working on the next six-year cycle of studies, designed to guide participants through major portions of the entire Bible. Watch for that new collection in fall 2018! 

Eric Muhr