Lent 2017 - Ecumenical Bible Study - Week 5
The fifth and last of this year’s Lent Bible Study meetings organised by ‘Churches Together in Canton’ was held at the Wesley Methodist Church, 453 Cowbridge Road East at 7:00pm on Monday 3 April 2017. This session’s theme was ‘The Crucified Jew’.
Methodist Minister, Reverend Paul Martin from the West Cluster of Churches in the Methodist Circuit of Cardiff led the Lent Study which he started with prayer and then recapped on how the previous studies had looked at other faiths. He then spoke about the German Reformation leader Martin Luther’s ‘On the Jews and Their Lies’ a 65,000-word anti-Jewish treatise written in 1543 and said that historically anti-Jewish feelings were strongest at this time of year and told us the story of the ‘Wandering Jew’.
Martin recounted his time in North Devon during the time of the seventieth anniversary of Auschwitz where it was the custom for the newest minister to conduct the service after a procession and the readings were accusing of the Jews.
He then read the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 27 verses 15-26 ‘Jesus before Pilate’ and then we were asked to discuss the Passion story and Pontius Pilate's part, in small groups.
Martin said the Nazis used German Christian theology against the Jews and stated bad theology can kill. He posed the question are the lyrics to Sydney Carter’s hymn ‘Lord of the Dance’ anti-Semitic and conjectured that the holocaust was not Christian but that it might have been influenced by Christian anti Jewish views.
We then discussed how Christian festivals relate to Jewish festivals and Martin went on to say how the Christian New Testament can be painful for Jews. The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams stated that all of us are persecuted at times and all of us are persecutors at times, except Jesus. Pope John Paul said Jews are our older brothers. He then went on to talk about the 1948 Palestine War and of Christian Zionists but stated that not all Jews are Zionists. Martin quoted Pope John Paul II that “The Old Covenant has Never Been revoked” and then spoke of Abraham.
Martin asked us to get to know people of other faiths and to look for things in common, as we have more in common than we might realise, he then closed the meeting with a prayer.
We then moved to the Foyer of the church where refreshments were served and we shared in a time of fellowship.
This session followed very closely the ‘Churches together in Britain and Ireland’ Week 5, Lent Course 2017 which can be seen by clicking on the following link: https://ctbi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Lent-2017-Week-5.pdf
Written by David Foley
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