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Lenten resource kindles love of God

Lenten resource kindles love of God

Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

12 February 2020

What biblical passage sets your heart on fire? Perhaps it is the story of Jesus curing the leper, or the Deuteronomist’s injunction to “Choose life,” or Moses’ epiphany at the burning bush, or perhaps the gospel account of the birth of Jesus in a stable far from home or the Psalmist’s desperate cries for help.

Or perhaps it is the moving account of two forlorn disciples of Jesus on the road to Emmaus who, upon recognizing him, asked themselves, ““Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”

Opening the Scriptures: Setting Our Hearts on Fire is a group Lenten resources published online by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CBTI). It employs “heart-burning” passages from both the Old Testament and New Testament that are consonant with the Emmaus account to open people’s reflection on, as it says, on “the mystery and holiness of God, God’s absence and presence, the relationship of human beings with God and with one another, the joys and sorrows of what it means to be human…. woven together by God’s love and sacrifice which, for Christians, find their most visible expression in the cross of Christ.”

The seven-week course “seeks to encourage participants to discover the Bible with their hearts as well as their minds and souls and strength,” says author Clare Amos, a biblical scholar and theologian who recently retired from her work coordinating the WCC’s interreligious dialogue and collaboration.

“The [Emmaus] story speaks to us in so many ways: about joy and grief, exhilaration and weariness, failure and success, about memory of the past and hope for the future,” she says.

Juxtaposed with music, art, poetry and prayers, the biblical meditations—mostly from Genesis, Exodus, and the gospels— are less extended exegesis and more invitations to self-discovery through encounters with scripture on the road to Easter.

Opening the Scriptures is also part of CTBI’s invitation to churches to make 2020 “the Year of the Word.”


Get access to Opening the Scriptures

Learn more about Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

See other Bible studies for group use, especially related to the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace