This was Elizabeth’s sermon

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November 26, 2018

The way Friends interacted with, thought about, and used Scripture over the years frequently challenges our contemporary sensibilities about what the Bible is and what it does. I think this challenge can be healthy in that it prompts us (if we let it) to think about how we read the Bible and what we do with it – to uncover our assumptions about the text, to help us more honestly engage the text. This is why we’ve designed Illuminate Bible study curriculum to include a Quaker quotation that relates to the Scripture passage each week. Here are a few of the quotations we’re including for the study of Luke that starts this next week:

“In the time of the Gospel, when Mary came to salute Elizabeth in the Hill Country in Judea, and when Elizabeth heard the Salutation of Mary, the Babe leaped in her Womb, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit; and Elizabeth spoke with a loud Voice. Blessed art thou amongst Women, blessed is the fruit of thy Womb. . . . And this was Elizabeth’s Sermon concerning Christ, which at this day stands upon Record.” – Margaret Fell (1614–1702)

“The humanity of Jesus was not fictitious; he was bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. He lived on our street. The temptations that came to Him were not with hoofs and horns, labeled for instant recognition. His temptations came as ours come, under the cover of the sensible: the seemingly reasonable act of a hungry man, the opportunity for valuable publicity, the shortcut to a success big with the possibilities of splendid human service. What suggestion could be more reasonable than these? .... This brother-man of ours met the temptation to make bread of stones promptly and decisively, met it out of the sacred Scriptures. ‘Man shall not live by bread alone,” He quoted, “but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’” – Ellison R. Purdy (1864–1933)

“For it is common for the people of the world to make use of the law in the defence of their outward substance, and the gun and sword in the defence of their law and country, because they lack faith, and are unbelievers in the revealed will of Christ, and they make to themselves a law, and do protect it by their own strength; they put their trust in man, in whom there is no help. And what will it profit them if they gain the whole world and lose their own souls.” – James Bellangee (1788–1853)

“He ... set us an example of faith, patience, and perseverance, through all. And that he might both feel and manifest this resignation in the most conspicuous manner possible, he was so far stripped as to feel as if he was forsaken; yet even in this extremity, though as man he was ready to wish the cup to pass from him, yet he centered in—‘Not my will, but thine be done.’ (Luke xxii. 42.) I saw that there was no way for me to get rightly along, but through the like submission.” – Job Scott (1751–1793)

Eric Muhr

P.S. Seeds of hope is the three-year campaign to fund the ministry of Barclay Press by developing new titles, supporting small churches, and balancing the budget. In order to stay on target to meet our goal of $162,000 by December 31, 2020, we need to get to $54,000 by the end of this year. As of this morning, we have raised $38,286 in gifts and pledges.


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