Bible Study

 

 

 

 

Since the beginning of September, our Bible Study group has been studying the Book of Genesis. We devoted a few weeks to the early chapters of Genesis (1-4), paying particular attention to the underlying nuances of the Old Testament creation story. In doing so, we began with two premises: First, we, as a religious community, regard the Bible as sacred literature. Second, we can learn much from comparing the Book of Genesis with the creation stories of other cultures in order to learn more about ourselves as human beings and in order to better deal with questions like ‘who are we?’, ‘what are we supposed to do?’, ‘what is death and the afterlife?’, ‘what is the purpose of our earthly lives?’, ‘what are we capable of?’, ‘ what life challenges do we face as social beings?’

 

But this comparison is not limited to ancient literature. The study of fairy tales, novels, science fiction, and fables are useful as well. Other forms of literature and modern literary forms can help us to find answers to some of the questions that are proposed by the Book of Genesis.

It is important, then, that we define literature. What is literature? Our group thought that we should start with a preliminary definition of literature. Literature is a form of human endeavour that expresses, in words, human experiences, challenges, hopes, fears, dreams, and expectations in a purely  concrete way.

 

Here you will find some comparisons made by our Bible Study participants thus far:

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The Twelve Dancing Princesses

 

I believe that the king  represents Jehovah the God of the Old Testament.

I see the 12 princesses as the 12 tribes of Israel.  

The King’s sons who came and were executed are false prophets. They drank from the cup of deception (wine) given to them by the princesses.

The princesses went down stairs, they descended, they moved far away from Abba. 

The princes that they danced with were the religious leaders, Scribes and Pharisees.   They kept them so busy dancing that they danced their shoes off.   This was adherence to the many laws that were set out for the tribes.  Laws that kept them so busy that it prevented them from seeing Abba.

 

The Princes (Religious Leaders) carry the Princesses (12 tribes) across the water in a boat.   In both the Old and New testaments water seems to represent Living Water given by God.   Drinking from this living water would have revealed Abba to the tribes.   But the Princesses did not come into contact with this Living Water as they are transported across it in boats by the Princes (Religious Leaders)  Water can also represent chaos if it is rough and dirty.  The water here appears to be calm because the old soldier (Jesus) is in the boat. 

The wine that the suitors  were given by the princesses was the distortion of who Abba is, it was the cup of deception, they fell asleep to His true nature.  They could not recognize that there was a difference between the God of the Old Testament and Abba, Jesus Father.

The soldier is considered by everyone to be insignificant, he couldn’t possibly be the next King.   He seems weak, not at all what they expected.      I believe that the soldier represents Jesus, after all He wasn’t at all what the tribes expected as their Messiah.  The cloak that made him invisible is the perception that the tribes have of who their Messiah will be.   They were blinded to the truth.  They could not see Him and therefore could not see Abba.  Jesus came to reveal the true nature of the princes (scribes and pharisees)  He descended with the princesses in order that he might ascend again bearing the truth.  

He danced along with the princesses, Jesus went to the temple, he spent time there during his earthly ministry.  

He was a Jew, he knew the laws. 

The soldier drank the wine (cup of deception) that the princes gave to the princesses so that their eyes would be opened and they could see clearly.   This was disturbing to the youngest princess who already felt something was wrong but the eldest wasn’t phased, she was so devoted to tradition that she still could not see.  The soldier (Jesus) stayed with the tribes even when they were walking away from His dad he never left them alone. 

The groves of trees with silver, gold and diamond leaves are the treasures which the scribes and pharisees have accumulated.   When the soldier broke branches from the trees there was a loud roar.   This reminds me of the turning over of the tables in the temple by Jesus.   They have turned the love of Abba into a treasure house of thieves and deception.

The soldier confronted the King with the proof of the treasures accumulated by and for the religious leaders in the name of God and the cup of deception. 

The princesses realize and confess that they were wrong.   They are redeemed.  The king dies and Jesus takes his rightful place as King.

The young princess represents the questioning and discernment of some of the people.   Something doesn’t seem right about this whole thing.  She represents hope.

The oldest princess is focused on tradition.    She is reckless and focused only on her own goals.   When she is confronted with the truth she too realizes how very wrong she has been.   She too is redeemed and becomes the Bride of Christ.   By Bev G.

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The King of Colchester’s  Daughters

 

King of Colchester:  

     

The king represents many of us.  After the tragic death of his wife he did not put his future in Jesus hands but tries to secure his future on his own.   His decision to choose money over the love of his daughter seems incomprehensible to us but here he is like the early people in our faith history, he considered his daughter to be a possession, there was no real love involved and so he easily chose money over her love. We can not serve both God and money.

Princess                        

 

The princess is like any one of us on our journey back to Abba.   She was treated harshly by life when her father listened to the lies of her stepmother but she reacted very differently.   She went in search of true love.  When she met the man at the cave she was willing to share all that she had with a total stranger.   Jesus said, “ I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink.”   She is blessed by the man at the cave with a sweet smelling body and mouth which represents her goodness and beauty in God’s sight.  He also gave the promise of a husband.   She listened to the man at the cave and followed his commands and because of her acts of obedience, kindness, love and selflessness her road back to Abba was made easier.  Obstacles were removed which would have made her journey home much more difficult.

Step mother      

               

The stepmother represents the evil one.   She does not show love.  She is harsh, unloving and jealous.   She wants to be the most important.  The Stepmother has taught the stepdaughter everything she knows.   This is reflected in the step daughter who is self focused and uncaring.  She too wants be the most important person, more important than the King’s daughter the princess.   The desire for power and adoration is her downfall and a tool used by the enemy to pull us away from God.

 

Step Daughter    

              

The stepdaughter, like the princess, is also on her journey back to Abba but she has been deceived and nurtured by her mother and is now walking in her image, self centered and uncaring.  She has a club foot which inhibits her walk.   This represents her spiritual walk back to Abba  which is being made difficult by the lies and character flaws passed down from her mother.  She only looks out for herself.   She is nasty and rude.   She does not receive instruction from the man at the cave because of her unwillingness to show him kindness or by the golden heads who likewise treat her differently than the princess.   She is given a foul odor of body and mouth.  This represents her standing in an unclean state before God.  Stained and twisted by sin.    However; in the end, she will find happiness with a simple man who simply shows her love in spite of herself.  That man represents Jesus.

Man at cave   

                   

The man at the cave represents the Holy Spirit, counsellor, comforter, guide.   Our companion on our journey back to Abba.  He is sitting outside of the cave which represents the open tomb from which Jesus arose.  The Holy Spirit was sent to help us following Jesus death and resurrection.  The Princess listened to his words and obeyed them which made her journey back to Abba so much easier.

Three golden heads  

     

I saw the three golden heads in several different ways.   My first thought was that they represent the helpless, oppressed and isolated people of the earth, made, like us in the image of God.   They have no hands or feet with which to help themselves.  They are isolated in the well with no hope of getting out on their own.   They would easily go unnoticed in the well, we must look for them.   They are golden, precious in God’s eyes.  The princess tenderly baths and combs their hair she cares for them, makes them feel loved, accepted and cared for.  And so she is blessed.  In this case the well represents deep, fresh cleansing water which quenches thirst.   Jesus is the living water in which the oppressed, down cast people of the world are cradled.   Jesus keeps them afloat during their most difficult trials.

I then thought that they might represent the Trinity.  They too have no other hands and feet other than ours.  The God of the Old Testament was for the most part harsh, vindictive and only seemed to desire unconditional obedience to a myriad of rules and sacrifices.  This muddied the comprehension of the people of the world to who Abba really was.   Here the Trinity is asking for the image that the people of the earth have come to accept as that of God to be set right.   To wash away this misconception so that all might see Abba as he truly is full of love, forgiveness and joy.   Here the well also represents Jesus as living water who is the exact image of his father, Abba.

And then I considered that perhaps the heads might also represent the evil one, disguised as the Holy Trinity but unclean.   He wants adoration and  the world to see him as God.  He is the great deceiver.  

 

Although the second two thoughts crossed my mind as possibilities my heart goes to my first thought as my interpretation of the three heads. 

Hedge     

                            

The hedge represents a barrier erected as an obstacle by the enemy and placed in our path to block our way back to Abba.   This obstacle might take the form of disappointment, illness, poverty, feeling unloved or misunderstood.   We can only get beyond these obstacles with the help of Jesus.  The pathway opened up when she struck 3 times with the wand.   The wand represents spiritual wisdom and enlightenment which guides us and is our gateway to Abba.   The princess tapped the wand three times.  The three taps represents The Holy Trinity which illuminates, opens up and makes safe our path as well as the commitment of our past, present and future which we place safely in the hands of Jesus.

The hedge might also represent the feeling that we already know all that there is to know, this deception causes us to stop seeking, growing and changing and stands as an obstacle between us and Abba.  

Young King   

                     

The prince is the first representation of Jesus.  He seeks out the princess and makes her his bride.  The princess represents the church who will become the bride of Christ.   The young king is referred to in the story both as prince and king.   Jesus is both the Prince of Peace and King of Kings

Cobbler  

                             

The Cobbler represents Jesus.   He can see beyond the step daughters leprosy or uncleanliness, he never gives up on her.   He loves her unconditionally.   He shows her love which heals her both in body and spirit.   We must be like him and be Jesus’ hands, voice and  feet among people who seem to be beyond redemption, because no one ever is. 

 Love transformed her, it always does,  and although she did not find the rich husband she was hoping for she found true happiness which is worth far more than anything money can ever buy or the enemy can ever promise.  She found love, Jesus’ love.  There is fullness of joy when we fall in love with Jesus.

 

The return of The Young King and Princess    

                     

The King and his bride return to her father.  The Young King reveals the truth to the father about how he had been deceived and his eyes are opened.  The Princesses father had been lost in the lies of the stepmother who was also a manifestation of the enemy.  The stepmother and stepdaughter realized that they are no longer superior.  The stepmother’s death shows Jesus victory over Satan.

 

The return of the Cobbler and Stepdaughter  

         

The Cobbler who represents Jesus returns with the now totally healed and loved and most likely beautiful stepdaughter to visit the King.  The King does not welcome them but gives them a small amount of money and sends them away never to return to the Kingdom.  He rejects Jesus, he still doesn’t get it.  The Cobbler and Stepdaughter marry.  She too becomes the Bride of Christ (the church) and she works at Jesus side.  The fairy tale said she spun a very fine thread.  This means that the work she did with and for Jesus was meticulous, precious and beautiful.  She offered her very best.   Yes, her road was a more difficult road than that of the princess, there were more obstacles in her path but in the end she found Jesus!  Hallelujah!         By Bev. G

 

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My summary of the Gospel of John... By Connie Hamilton

The Gospel of John gives many important lessons for us to live our lives on earth and a way for us to determine our destiny after we die.

For me the Gospel of John teaches me that Jesus is the Messiah predicted in the stories of the Old Testament of the bible. The gospel also shows me that Jesus was definitely sent by God with a purpose! A way to tell me this, through spiritual stories and themes. The Gospel does not dwell on events of the bible but does show me the power and wonder of God through Jesus Christ, his miraculous and spiritual stories. There is a clear message in the Gospel of John that helps me to understand the truth about God, the truth about life after death and the truth about making a clear choice to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour.

My Best Friend

I am never alone for Jesus is always with me.   He is always watching over me. K Whether I am weak or strong or struggling Jesus cares for me.   I realize that you may be thinking, “Sure, Jesus cares for me in the general sense, as for the whole world, but when it comes to specifics, surely there must be others He is more interested in.  After all, I can’t pray out loud.   I have a hard time understanding the Bible.   I can’t seem to shake bad habits.   He, I know He cares, but not as much as He does for more, obedient types.”   NOT SO!   The Lord’s care for me does not hinge on my hang-ups, His care for me has nothing to do with my baggage of personal problems.  I could be a wimp when it comes to standing for the Lord, and always getting distracted by everyday pressures.   It doesn’t matter.   As a child of God, I matter.  I have a love that cares with no strings attached.

What other friend is there who thinks about me every moment, every second of the day and night?

What other friend is so jealous for my love and affection? 

What other friend forgives seventy times, and then some?

Truly, no one ever cared for me as Jesus cares!

I love you Jesus my best friend.    By Joan C.

 

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What does it mean that Jesus is the "Son of Man"

When "Son of Man" is used as a title, it refers to the humanity (human side) of Jesus and "Son of God" refers to the deity (Divine Nature) of Christ.  Both terms were used of Christ because He was a man and He was God.

Jesus was conceived by the Spirit and full of the Spirit of God, but he was birthed by Mary and born as a man, which gave him the ability to sympathize with us in all of our weaknesses

Son of Man also referred to as the Messiah.  Had Jesus gone around claiming himself as the Messiah alone, He may have been crucified much earlier than he was.  In Matthew 16:20 Jesus warned the disciples not to tell anyone he was the Messiah.  Claiming himself as the Son of Man gave him the best platform to connect with people in all walks of life.

"Son of Man" reminds us that Jesus became a man so that He could die.   "Son of God" reminds us that Jesus is God so that He could live a sinless life or be the perfect "Lamb of God".  Only as the God-Man could he die a sinless, holy sacrifice for our sins.  

All that there is left for us to do is to believe that He is the only way.  He is the only Saviour of our sins, if we will believe that I am never alone for God is always with me.  He is always watching over me.  By Joan C.

 

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A COMMENTARY ON “the BLUE BEARD’

 

In many respects this story is a parody of the narration in the first chapters of Genesis with Adam and eve, God and Satan.   Both stories are about human temptation, what provokes it and what are its consequences.   In the book of Genesis, God is the all- powerful Creator.   He gives firm instructions that Adam and Eve may have full access to all the riches of the garden of Eden—except the tree in the middle of the garden which has a delicious fruit.   The serpent in the garden (Satan) tells Eve that “you must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” (Gen. 3:3)  And yet he is provoking their curiosity (which is stronger than the fear of death).   But God is a loving God who curses the serpent, as well as humankind.  Even though he banishes humankind from the garden, “The Lord God made garments of skins for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” (Gen. 3:21)  Although their life consequently was hard outside of the garden, they did survive to gain more knowledge and to produce the next generation of children.   The serpent must be seen as a force for evil trying to turn Adam and Eve away from the explicit will of God.   The serpent knew very well how to stimulate temptation and to blind one’s eyes to reality.

In the story “the Blue Beard” the powerful figure is Blue Beard.   Though he is rich, he is a disgustingly ugly character with his blue beard, “so that all the women and girls ran away from him.”   When offered the chance of marriage to him, both of the sisters found him repugnant.   Also there was the fact that, “…he had already been marry’d to several wives and no body every knew what were become of them.”

In order to overcome this disadvantage, Blue Beard cleverly invited the girls and their mother and other friends to parties and festivities lasting several days, “In short, everything so well succeeded that the youngest daughter began to thin, “that the master of the house had not a Beard so very Blue, and that he was a very civil gentleman.”   The display of all his wealth caused her to become blind to the true nature of Blue Beard.   Clearly Blue Beard who is a master of evil, knows very well how to manipulate human psychology.

After their marriage he told her that he had to go on a very long trip, and he gave her the keys to all the rooms filled with beautiful furniture and treasures.  Her husband, however, forbade her to use on key, the one for the closet on the ground floor.   Ignoring all his warnings, she literally could not wait to see the contents of that closet.   She rushed off leaving the others behind.   When she entered the closet she immediately discovered the secret of Blue Beard’s wives, who had all been murdered and left in a pool of blood.   The young bride also lost her innocence since the key to the closet was a fairy.  Blue Beard was revealed as a powerful figure of evil, unloving and murderous.   His dead wives were also like blood sacrifices that he constantly sought.   Satanic evil is the absolute absence of love.   Indifferent to his wife’s pleadings for mercy, “the blue Beard had a heart harder than the hardest rock!”

In the end, his wife was saved by her brothers who arrived just in time to  .   Love is the most effective protection against even the most powerful evil—and our only real protection against temptation.  By Randy S

 

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The Blue Beard

 

Blue Beard was a fearful man with a hideous blue beard.  One day he decided that he wanted to take a wife (he had been married several times before).  He approached a lady who had two daughters and asked for the hand of one of her daughters, both daughters detested him but finally one considered him not too terrible and consented to wed him.  

The daughter who married him represents Eve.  Blue Beard did not love the daughter.   Blue Beard did not choose her but let her mother give one daughter or the other.  He simply wanted someone to control.  

The Castle is Eden, everything is beautiful and they have everything that they need and more.

Blue Beard’s wife is given the keys to everything in the house just as Eve had access to all of Eden.  Bluebeard gave her a warning not to open the door at the end of the hall just as Eve was instructed “do not eat from the tree in the midst of the garden”.  Ultimately, Blue Beard’s wife did open the door and found the bodies of Bluebeards former wives.   Until this point in the book Blue Beard’s wife had only experienced beauty and plenty, but now she experienced true evil as she looked upon the dead bodies of Blue Beards former wives.  Just like Eve she had the knowledge of good and evil and this caused fear in her life, just as Adam and Eve were fearful and hid themselves in the garden after receiving the knowledge of good and evil.

There is blood on the key.   The fact that she now had the knowledge of good and evil could not be hidden, it was evident to Blue Beard that she knew everything because the blood could not be wiped off the key.

Blue Beard wanted her obedience and held her captive just as the people of the old testament were held prisoner by the law.

There is no forgiveness shown to her by Blue Beard because he never did really love her.

The woman’s sister represents the prophets in the Old Testament who announce clearly what is coming and her deliverance from captivity and death.  She announces the arrival of her brothers who represent Abba and Jesus who ultimately defeat Blue Beard’s hold over her life through Jesus life, death and resurrection.  By Bev G.

 

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Jacob and Essau,  Isaac gives his blessing

 

Essau married not one but two Hittite women and we read that this caused Isaac and Rebecca trouble.  I think that Rebecca didn’t want the leader of their tribe to be influence by Hittite gods and traditions.  I believe she wanted to keep the bloodline within their tribe. Her hope was that Jacob would marry within the family as had his father which indeed he did.  Remember it was very, very important to Abraham that Isaac marry within the family.

I wonder a little about the dialogue between Essau and Jacob about the birthright.  Did Essau think Jacob was joking.  Sort of like I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.  When you say things like this no-one really means that they are going to truly eat a horse.  Were these just two brothers interacting in the same way.  Jacob being serious and Essau not realizing that Jacob really meant what he was saying.

I wonder about the part where the text says that Rebecca put goat skin on Jacob so that Isaac would believe that it was Essau.  Goat skin does not feel like human hair maybe a bit in texture but definitely much denser and has a very pungent odor.  Even a blind person would not mistake goat skin for human hair unless they chose to.  Essa’s cloths would not have smell like the fields as the scent of goat would have been strong.

Why did Rebecca cook two goats?   There is no indication that anyone else was to share the meal.  I am wondering if the two goats represent Jacob and Essau. If goats feed on different plants the flavour of their meat, just as the personalities of the twins, can be slightly different. But if they are cooked together in the same pot the flavours become one. 

Cooking is a hot process but left to simmer the meat over time becomes tender .  Jacob and Essau, although they were twins, were very different and their relationship with their parents was different as well.  Following Jacob receiving Isaac's blessing the relationship between the two heated up to the boiling point with Essau pledging to kill Jacob after Isaac's death. It took 20 years for the brothers hearts to become tender and Jacob and Essau were united once again.  

 

Why did Isaac give his blessing with no one else present?  Would it not be practice to have at least the immediate family members present at a blessing and other important people in the tribe to observe the blessing being bestowed?  You would think that this would be a celebration.

Could it be that Isaac really didn’t want his first born to receive the blessing for the same reasons as Rebecca.  With no one else present to recognize that it was Jacob and not Essau it was impossible to warn Isaac that he was giving his blessing to the younger son and not the first born.  

Why did Isaac ask Essau to go and hunt when all Jacob had to do was fetch two goats from the herd.   Could it maybe be that Isaac wanted Essau out of the way for a while???

Isaac doesn’t seem to be angry with Jacob for receiving the blessing in fact, when Essau asked for a second blessing, Isaac said it was not possible and almost cursed him in a sense by saying…” You will live by the sword..etc. etc.”

Why did Rebecca cook the food for Jacob but Essau had to prepare it himself?   There is a broken relationship here between Essau and his parents resulting in Jacob and not Essau receiving the blessing. By Bev G.

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                Alice in Wonderland                   

Alice is a child of God.   One who seeks Him to hear and follow God’s voice and ways.   She is innocent, hungry for answers.   So God sent the White Rabbit, because He knows Alice will follow.

The White rabbit is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus & Truth.   It is our guide.   We are afraid of the path that leads to the truth because it’s covered with stones and thorns.   There are evil spiritual forces all around us, all day long, messing with our minds, whispering negative thoughts into our heads that we mistake as our own.

God knows what He’s dealing with and that’s why he sends the white rabbit to intrigue us.   To follow the path may look silly and scary sometimes.  But it’s the only way for Alice to find her way where she needs to go.

Wonderland, the Kingdom of God is for the innocent.   In the Kingdom of God the most important thing is to pursue is love.   Sometimes the path to finding His love is hard, It’s because in order to grown bigger, you must become smaller.   Must become humble.

Just like it’s difficult for Alice to fit through the door that leads to Wonderland it’s also difficult for us to get into the Kingdom of God.   Our humanity prevents it, our sinful nature, our weaknesses.  Just like Alice, we’re not quite fit to enter in, we just can’t do it in our natural size.  Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.   With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.   Jesus is the door to the Kingdom of God, to Wonderland.

Soon after reaching Wonderland, Alice starts heading towards the Castle because that’s where the white Rabbit is heading.  The Castle represents the Throne of God.   Being close to the Throne means being real close to the Father (which is our goal)

Alice took the narrow path, the one full of stones and tears and hardships but she took it because she wanted to follow the white Rabbit. It’s because falling down the Rabbit hole and finding Wonderland (or being born again) is just the beginning.   That is when the real journey begins.

As soon as the White Rabbit has lured a child of God into Wonderland, His next mission is to get her to the Castle and the journey to the castle is a difficult journey, a journey of growth in love.   Alice ‘s love grows when she becomes smaller.   Every time she lets go a little more of that ego and pride and all those other sins and illusions that keep her in a prison, she grows in love and God can become bigger inside of her.  The closer she is to the Throne, the closer she is God, her true home, her final destination.   By Joan C.

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Alice in Wonderland

1.      Curiosity caused both Adam and Eve and Alice to do something that they knew was probably unwise.

 

2.      Both involved a “fall”   Adam and Eve spiritually when they ate from the tree and Alice as she followed the rabbit down the rabbit hole.

 

3.      Both falls could/should have resulted in death and both did not.

 

4.      I know this is not in Genesis but the cake “Eat me” and the liquid “Drink Me” reminds me of the Eucharist and its transforming power.  Alice was transformed each time she ate or drank growing either taller or smaller; we are transformed each time we partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus.

 

5.      Everything changed for Alice after her swim in the pool of tears and everything changed for Noah and his family after the flood.   Nothing was the same.

 

6.      I found it amusing that the Duchess was sitting on a three legged stool.   The three legged stool in Anglicanism is Scripture, Tradition, and Reason. A stool with three legs will collapse if any one of the legs is not equal with the others. It’s the same balance between scripture, tradition and reason in church doctrine. Because they are held as equal in authority, each of these sources needs to be understood along with the other two.  The Duchess was not standing on the stool but sitting on it, holding it down even hiding it.   The baby was a male and was being mistreated and transformed into something he was not.  The Duchess shouted “Pig” at the baby that she was supposed to love showing dislike and a lack of love.  The baby wasn’t just crying but howling.   Is the baby representative of Jesus or The Word of God?  If so, then the Duchess must be a high church official.  The duchess tosses the baby to Alice who finally sees that it has transformed into something that she doesn’t want to hold on to, something that it didn’t start off as.   She says that if the baby had grown up it would have been truly ugly perhaps the distortion and manipulation of the Word. 

 

7.      Now…who is the cook?  Perhaps Abba is the cook, maybe and the pepper represents something that the Duchess or high church official does not want to eat making the Word of God something difficult for them to swallow.  They have manipulated the Word to something that was more them than God.  The cook gets angry and throws utensils at the Duchess with no effect she simply ignores that they are being thrown.   The Duchess/church official is oblivious to the things being directed at her and decides to go and play crochet with the Queen.  Perhaps Abba was trying all the while to get her attention.   The Queen then is above the duchess and higher in rank.  So if the duchess is maybe representative of a bishop then perhaps the Queen is an Archbishop or demiurge.

 

8.      When Alice comes to a junction in the road that leads in different directions, she asks the Cheshire Cat, “Cheshire-Puss...would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to go to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where,” replied Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

This is like our journey back to God the Father, we must decide where we want to go and search out the right path.   If we don’t know or care then we will wonder aimlessly.

 

9.       The Cheshire cat says “a dog’s not mad.  You grant that?  “I suppose so said Alice”  “Well, then, you see a dog growls when it’s angry and wags its tail when it’s pleased.  Now I growl when I’m please and wag my tail when I’m angry.  Therefore I’m mad.” 

The Cheshire cat is implying that if we do things differently to what is the accepted norm then the world says we are mad.  Christians are called to be different and often times the world makes fun of us and calls us crazy for loving Jesus.  The Cheshire cat isn’t mad but very wise.  He also knew that the distortion of the word would result in the baby/Word of God being transformed into something that was totally different then what it started out as, something totally ugly, a pig.

 

10.  The Mad Hatter’s table is set for a great many people and yet they said “no room, no room” and then he asked Alice if she wanted some wine.  This reminds me of the Holy Eucharist.  Not everyone is invited, people are being excluded.  This table is meant just for the three.  Jesus is not present at this table there is no wine and the only bread represented is in the crumbs in the butter.  They were offering wine/Jesus to Alice something that they themselves did not possess and therefore could not share.  Alice ignores their cry of “no room, no room” and is brave enough to sit down and ask questions.  We need to ask questions as well especially when we see something that excludes others.

 

11.  In Genesis 18, Abraham looked up and saw three strangers approaching; he welcomed them, brought them water, washed their feet and prepared a feast for them.  He was not expecting guests but made them totally welcome.   In contrast, in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, there are three seated at a huge table set for many when approached by one stranger (Alice) but instead of welcome she is greeted with, “no room, and no room.”   There is no welcome but a desire to turn the stranger, Alice, away.

 

12.  The Queen of Hearts reminds me of the demiurge.  She is quick to say “off with their heads” and of course, if you have no head you are unable to think, perhaps this is the hidden meaning because if we can’t think we stay stuck in one place.   When Alice tells the Duchess that she has a right to think the Duchess responds with “ just as much right as pigs have to fly”

 

13.  When the queen is playing crochet she uses her subjects as wickets and arches and clubs, this reminded me of all the 600 laws in the old testament that needed to be adhered to.  People were kept busy following the law, so busy that it was difficult to develop a love relationship with God.

 

14.  The Queen was not loved only feared.  

 

15.  The King of hearts pardoned all those who were condemned which was the entire group (the world) except Alice, the queen and he.    This is interesting; could the King actually represent Abba?  He was also the judge at the trial.  If the Queen is the demiurge perhaps the King is Abba.  She condemns and he pardons.

 

And finally there is Alice herself.   She is an innocent but curious child.  She is not afraid of the journey that she is on or what she might encounter on her way.   She freely asks and answers questions.     She is fearless in her searching even when she is faced with disturbing and uncomfortable situations.   She stands against evil and injustice.  Alice is like us, innocent children of God on a journey back to Abba.  Sometimes the journey is difficult and sometimes we are fortunate enough to be able to help others.  The journey home is never dull it is always an adventure to be embraced, and at the end of the journey we will, like Alice, find ourselves awakening in the lap of love.  By Bev G.

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I believe God Speaks to us.  He talks into people's minds.  Yours mine all day long.  Through thoughts, ideas, dreams, songs, poems, life experiences and other people.

In order to hear God's message sometimes we have to fall into the rabbit hole…

Let me explain…

…Alice in Wonderland in a nutshell…

Alice a curious child follows a mysterious white rabbit and falls down a deep, deep rabbit hole which brings her to an entrance to a strange and peculiar World called Wonderland.  She is determined by her intense curiosity and desire to meet this White Rabbit which starts a journey into a world where normal rules don't apply.  In Wonderland things don't operate in the same way as the natural world. Wonderland seems very foolish in comparison. Talking flowers, floating cat heads, unbirthdays are celebrated.  Other odd characters include the Mad Hatter and the Red Queen.  This is a place where nonsense rules and rational thinking is tossed aside.

 

We're all mad here!  said the cat.  I'm mad you're mad.   How do you know I'm mad? Asked Alice.  You must be, replied the cat, or you wouldn't have come here.

Alice....

...this is the child of God.   We know this because she is a child.  Jesus teaches us to become like children.  She is innocent, hungry for answers and is doing everything she can to pursue these answers.  She is bored and unhappy with her present reality,  she wants more. She is poor in spirit.

Matthew 5 - Where Jesus begins his teaching… blessed are the poor in spirit…

God sees a void in Alice who is looking for more and sends the White Rabbit for Alice to follow and find the way.  In order to tell the message she must fall down the rabbit hole looking for truth.

 

It’s all about identity, you see.  The truth of who you really are...this journey to Wonderland.  You can only find it by following the White Rabbit.

 

Alice is on a quest for her true identity.  The truth of who she really is.  A journey that just beginning.  Ultimately the White Rabbit leads Alice to the castle & it’s difficult.  She is finding she is grown too big to fit and this making it difficult to enter Wonderland/the Kingdom of God.

 

Just as Jesus said...it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than to enter the Kingdom of God.

 

The White Rabbit…

…this is the Holy Spirit,  the spirit of Jesus and truth.   It's our guide and God's faith that causes us to follow.  God knows that people won't come to him easily he must convince people, draw them in.   On a path that is difficult with rocks and thorns.  He has to send white rabbits to lure people in.  Soon the white rabbit has lured Alice to Wonderland.  

Alice's loves grows as she becomes smaller. Every time she lets go a little more of her ego, pride and sin.  This makes more room for love to grow in and in turn this let's God become bigger inside of her. 

 

Wonderland…

…this is the Kingdom of God.   It is for the innocent.  Priorities are quite different in Wonderland.  Playfulness and imagination rule as well as everything childlike.

It's a World similar in ways as  the natural world but completely opposite in so many other ways.  The rules make no sense at all.  This is because of the natural world we can never truly understand the wisdom of the spirit. It's out of our grasp.

No matter how hard we try we just can’t make it through the door without God’s help.  He is our key to the Kingdom of God.  When the Holy Spirit/White Rabbit passes us we must follow.  It may look silly or crazy or even scary, but it’s the only way Alice can find where she needs to go.

 

God will make the impossible possible.

 

The kingdom of God is within you. You can find the truth within you.  If it exists in the spirit realm it is more real than the natural world.  Everything that was created and exists has first been created in the kingdom of God or Wonderland.

Now finding this enterence to the crazy bizarre Wonderland is a mysterious thing.   You can only find it by following the White Rabbit or the Holy Spirit.  When he passes You by no one knows.  Jesus said no one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him.

Something that may seem important here in our world have no importance in the Kingdom of Heaven/Wonderland.  Something of value here has little or no value at all in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

 

Each time Alice gets smaller her love grows.  This lets God grow larger inside her.  By letting go of ego and pride increasing love.

 

It takes a bit of madness.  A bit of letting go. We must take that courageous leap down the rabbit hole into the unknown.  You must put your own ideas aside and follow the rabbit wherever he takes you.

 

No one knows when it's their time to fall into the rabbit hole and find Wonderland.   But when you do a New Perspective enters your mind and you'll never be the same again.  By Lore Anne R

 

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Rapunzel

 

As I thought about comparing Fairy Tales and Genesis I thought of Rapunzel.

 

It starts with a man and a woman wishing for a child. They wanted more in their life.

 

They see a beautiful garden surrounded by high walls with the forbidden fruit called Rampion or Rapunzel belonging to a powerful Enchantress.

 

With urging of his wife and concern his wife may die if she doesn’t get it, he climbs into the garden to pick the Rampion.

 

This angers the Powerful Enchantress who calls him a thief.

 

He asks for mercy and she decides to allow him to take the forbidden fruit but asks for the child that he and his wife wanted so badly. Showing there is a cost to the decisions that we make.

 

The Enchantress takes the young girl and locks her in a tower where she thinks she will be safe from the world.

 

However a prince comes along and witnesses how to get up into the tower by climbing her long hair.

 

The Enchantress is angry with Rapunzel as she feels Rapunzel has deceived her. She cuts Rapunzel’s hair and casts her out into the desert.

 

Banishment is an ongoing theme. 

 

In the desert Rapunzel has twins. Meanwhile, the prince returns to the tower and is tricked by the Enchantress. He tries to escape. As he leaps from the tower he is blinded by thorns.

 

He wanders for years until he finds Rapunzel and her tears allow him to see again.

 

There is a theme of power, temptation, forbidden fruit, loss, banishment, and redemption.

 

Rapunzel and the prince end up being happy ever after. by Jean J.

 

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Little Red Riding Hood

 

The fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood is a warning.

 

Little Red Riding Hood’s mother said to her “Take this basket of goodies to your grandma’s cottage, but don’t talk to strangers on the way and stay on the path.”

 

Like the goal of all parents raising children who venture out into the world is to be reminded to be watchful at all times and to stay on the right path.

 

Just as Jesus said to his disciples when he sent them out on their own. He warned his disciples “Go your way; behold I send you out as lambs among wolves.” Watch out for false prophets. That is people who want to trick you into believing something that isn’t true. A wolf in sheep’s clothing – wolf in grandma’s nightgown.

 

This is an example of how Satan tries to deceive us! He lies to us and tricks us into believing that even what we know to be right, just to be an incorrect perception.  (By Joan C)

 

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Similarities of Beauty and the Beast and Adam and Eve

  • In the fairytale Beauty and the Beast the prince in the story was a spoiled brat and had no love in his heart and treated people poorly. This was his life prior to the curse that turned him into The Beast.

  • He had to go through a wilderness period to find out how to be a better person and let love from Beauty be his guide to happiness and fortune. She tested him (the strong woman that she was) in every way to be the good person he could be. After many obstacles (maybe not by serpents), by the end of the story he was humbled and did discover love and happiness and how to be a better human being.

  • In the bible almost every great hero experiences a wilderness period. All go through the Beast phase before grasping true beauty and love. It teaches the value of courage, empathy and sacrificial love.

  • Adam and Eve were given God's test of the law or this wilderness period. This law tested whether they would invest their time wisely with responsibility of action by not eating of the trees fruit or how pride, which is the original sin, would cause them to be lonely and ashamed.

  • In each story it was the test of God's love that caused them to be lost of everything and everyone before they found themselves. Eve (the first strong woman that she was) made Adam eat the fruit to show him he could and that nothing would happen except to know he had her love and strength. The same for The Beast; Beauty encouraged him to be trusting and gave him unconditional love that caused him to be a caring individual and how unconditional love made him human again.

  • The actions of Eve and Beauty gave Adam and the Beast the courage to find themselves and be strong and loving. When it is the darkest point in life this is God's will for all of us. (By Connie H.)

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein/Creation story in Genesis

 

It seems to me that the comparison between Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the creation story in the Book of Genesis has many similarities and many contrasts.

Victor’s childhood was wonderful  with no worries and filled with the love of his parents.  He had Elizabeth by his side and life was great.   Similar to Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall.

 

In both stories intelligent beings are created but have no ability to distinguish right from wrong.

 

Victor and his creation represent God and Adam

 

Victor’s father warned him against studying the works of Agrippa, Magnus and Paraselsus  just as God warned Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.   In both cases they disobeyed and both suffered the consequences        .

 

 

In the Genesis story Adam and Eve hid themselves from the Creator after they had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and realized what they had done.   In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein it is the Creator that hides from his creation when he realizes what he has done.

 

 

The creature,like Adam, is the first of his kind and initially innocent and open to and needing the nurturing of a loving parent(s). 

 

Both Adam and Victor’s  creature were created as adult beings and did not know the love and nurturing of a mother and father as children.

 

God created Adam and Eve in His own beautiful image but Victor ‘s creation was made with no concern for his self esteem  and with no regard for how his appearance would cause him to be shunned and feared.

 

In Genesis God created  Adam and Eve and spent  time nurturing them by  walking and talking with them in the Garden and even after expelling Adam and Eve from the Garden he never deserted them.  Victor Frankenstein created but, unlike God, he then abandoned his creation and is repulsed by the very creature that he had created.  His creation is not nurtured and never is shown love by his creator.  The creature has no sense of acceptance and feels abandoned and unloved.

 

Caine and the creature also had things in common.  Caine felt unaccepted and unloved because God didn’t  accept his sacrifice, likewise the creature’s appearance frightened people and left him feeling unaccepted  and unloved.  In both cases Caine and the creature became murderers.   Abel by the hand of Caine and Victor’s loved ones by the hand of the creature.   If we don’t experience love and are unable to love ourselves than how can we possibly love others.

 

Victor’s creature asked him to make him a mate, someone like him who could love him and Victor although reluctant does begin to create a companion for him but does not let her live.  God created Eve because he knew that Adam needed a companion, without Adam needing to ask.

 

.When Adam and Eve ate the apple their eyes were opened and they knew the difference between good and evil.  When the creature was given life and his eyes opened Victor Frankenstein realized that his creation had a capacity for great evil as well.

 

Adam was created and God blew into his nostrils the breath of life.   He was filled with the Spirit of God.  Victor’s creature however was created by the hand of a man and had no soul.  And yet Frankenstein’s creature seemed to know the Bible.  The creature says to Victor, “I ought to be thy Adam; but I am rather the fallen angel                                                             

                          

 The creature found himself created and in a world that he did not understand and he had to find his way totally on his own.  Adam and Eve, when cast out of the garden of Eden, also found themselves in an entirely different world, one that they would have to learn to live in.  The only difference was that they had a loving Father to help, the creature did not.    

 

Adam and Eve loved and worshipped their Creator, the creature cursed his.

 

Jesus said in John 13:34-,  “ So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”   What an incredible difference love would have made in this story.  All that Dr. Frankenstein's creature wanted was to be accepted just the way he was and to be  loved.  Unconditional love, love that is not based on beauty, or eloquence but love that flows freely from us to everyone would make such an incredible difference to the entire world.  By Bev G

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Snow White/Genesis

 

Snow White……………….Represents Eve, she was innocent, inexperienced, and easily convinced to do something that she probably knew was foolish

The Queen………………...If we believe that the serpent in the garden was Satan then the evil queen would represent Satan.   She had the same characteristics as Lucifer.  She had the mirror that she repeatedly asked who was the fairest.   This self adoration was what caused Lucifer to be cast out of heaven.   She was also able to appear in different forms, queen and old woman and she gave the fruit that would cause harm.

Seven Dwarfs………….  Seven is an interesting number and is used often in the bible it is the number of completeness and perfection.  The dwarfs protected Snow White and spoke words of wisdom to her.   What could all of their strange names possibly mean:

“Bashful”………….Snow White was’bashful” and shy when she met the seven dwarfs

                            Eve was “bashful” when she realized that she was naked in the garden

 

“Happy”………….. Snow White was “happy” while she was living with the seven dwarfs under their    protection

                                  Eve was “happy” walking with God in the garden before the fall

 

“Dopey”……………Snow White was “Dopey” when she took the apple from a strange old lady and ate it.

                                Eve was “Dopey” when she disobeyed God

 

“Grumpy”………….Snow White was “grumpy” when the house she was living in became untidy.

                                  Eve was probably “grumpy” when Adam said the woman made me eat it.

“Sleepy”………….. Snow White became “sleepy” when she ate the apple and fell into a deep sleep

                                  Eve was created from Adam’s rib while he was “sleepy”

 

“Sneezy”…………..Snow White became very sick “sneezy” from eating the apple and needed healing

                            Eve became spiritually sick when she disobeyed God

 

“Doc”………………..Snow White needed a “Doc” to bring about healing from her eating the apple

                                  Eve needed spiritual healing because after eating the apple she was afraid of God.

 

The Apple…………………The fruit eaten by Eve in the Garden of Eden is often referred to as an apple.   In both cases it caused Eve’s and Snow White’s life to be changed drastically in what was perceived to be for the worse.

 

Prince Charming………awakened Snow White with love’s true kiss.   When the Prince kissed Snow White her eyes were opened and her relationship with the Prince grew stronger and finally they were married.  When Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil her eyes were opened as well. God the Father awakened Eve and her relationship with God the Father would grow into something beautiful as she realized that God loved her just the way she was.  (By Bev G.)

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