Our Online Bible Study Community was reading, writing, praying, and studying 1 Corinthians in the month of May. While reading 1 Corinthians Chapter 2, titled “Paul’s Message of Wisdom,” I thought of how it accurately describes our Online Bible Study Community. I want to share how I practiced Catholic Bible Journaling to share this comforting message.
(The Bible pictured is the Blessed is She Catholic Journaling Bible)
Catholic Bible Journaling 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
“When I first came to you dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness–timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.”
+1 Corinthians 2:1-5
From day one of our Online Bible Study Community, my goal has been to make the Bible friendly. When I say, “friendly” I mean not hard or scary to read. I mean not being afraid to start or practice Catholic Bible Journaling.
See, at one time I had been led to believe something along the lines of, “The harder the Bible is to read, the better.” Of course, this wasn’t said exactly, but the translations that were encouraged and approved–well, they were hard for me to read and understand!
And I don’t know about you, but life is hard enough and hard enough to understand! If you’re going to tell me I need to read a hard-to-understand Bible translation for thirty minutes a day–I’m out. I don’t have an extra thirty minutes a day to do something that I’m supposed to do to help me grow in friendship with Jesus only to make me feel stupid and discouraged. Make sense?
So, from day one, I’ve told our Online Bible Study Community, “Find your Bible.” It might be bright purple with wide margins for Bible Journaling and notetaking. It might be plain black leather, large font, and Jesus’ words in red. It might be a translation that uses all the “Thees” and “Thous” possible. Or it might read more like a story.
My Message is Very Plain
Like Paul I say, my message is very plain. I want you to grow in closer friendship with Jesus. I want you to spend time reading your Bible so you can know, love, serve and share God. But more importantly, I want you to enjoy your reading Bible–not because everything in it is all warm, fuzzy, and comforting. Not at all! But because it’s a gift from the Lord–your heavenly Father, who loves you so much, He left His true Word in a world full of noisy words.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”
+2 Timothy 3:16
The other part of my message, “Join us!” I’ve mentioned before, we’re made for community. Even as a card-carrying introvert, I recognize the gift of community. A community of women who will support each other in prayer, help each other grow in wisdom and understanding…and make each other laugh!
I will never stop sharing two of my favorite Bible Stories–the one from the Old Testament where Aaron and Hur give Moses a rock to sit on and hold up his tired arms so the Israelites will be victorious in battle. The other is the New Testament story of the paralytic man’s friends lowering him through the roof so Jesus can heal him–and “Jesus seeing their faith…” healed the man.
My Speech is Not Clever
My speech is not clever, hard to understand, reliant on long, theological words, or sometimes even very holy sounding. I mean, have you ever called King David a “Whiny Baby”? I have–in our Online Bible Study Community. I’ve also said the Psalmist’s words about tears in a cup reminded me of the old Hank Williams song, “There’s a Tear in My Beer.” That may not be the most reverent reference, but I guarantee it’s one you’ll not easily forget!
Each week when we read and share the Scriptures in our Online Bible Study Community, we break them down into bite-sized, easily digestible, yummy morsels. You might be surprised to actually learn how relevant the Scriptures can be in our daily life–whether we work outside or inside the home, are a mom, grandma, favorite auntie, or happily single.
When Paul told Timothy the Scriptures correct us when we’re wrong and teach us to do right, he wasn’t kidding or trying to pitch his latest Epistle for pre-order. And when he told the Corinthians he wasn’t sharing the Good News with clever speech, he had a specific reason for this, “…for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.” (+1 Corinthians 1:17)
I don’t want to finish this post without mentioning some Catholic Affirmations found in 1 Corinthians Chapters 1, 2, and 3. (Catholic Affirmations is one of the most searched for terms here at The Good Enough Catholic.) I learned the importance of daily affirmations years ago when I began counseling for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive thoughts.
The counselor I chose was a Biblical Counselor–unknown to me at the time–Thanks God! This counselor taught me the importance of daily affirmations–truths, to combat the lies I had become accustomed to listening to and thinking about (You can read more here, The Truth About Me and Bible Quotes). The most important truths he taught me came from the Scriptures–the ultimate source of truth.
Here are a couple of Catholic Affirmations I highlighted from 1 Corinthians 1-3. These would be fun to add to your Catholic Bible Journaling:
–I am God’s holy one. (+1 Corinthians 1:2)
–I belong to Jesus. (+1 Corinthians 1:4)
–I have every spiritual gift. (+1 Corinthians 1:7)
–I am made right with God. (+1 Corinthians 1:30)
–I have the mind of Christ. (+1 Corinthians 2:16)
–I am God’s temple and His Spirit lives in me. (+1 Corinthians 3:16)
–I belong to Jesus. (+1 Corinthians 3:23)