Canvey Island Methodist Church Bible Study 4th November 2020

Canvey Methodist Church Bible Study.   3rd November 2020

In our Bible Study this week there are two Bible passages. The first is Psalm 116, part of a series of Psalms known as the Hallel. (Psalms 113-118). More on this later. The second is from Mark 14: 12-26, the account of Jesus enjoying a last Supper with his friends, the disciples. Did you know that the Passover meal also included a sing a long at the end?  Please read on…..

Psalm 116:1-10.     New International Version

1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    “Lord, save me!”
5 The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
6 The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.
8 For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.
10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
    “I am greatly afflicted”;


Mark 14:12-26.     New International Version.

The Last Supper
12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

13 So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”

16 The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

17 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”

19 They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”

20 “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

24 “This is my blood of the[c] covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives


Key Verse : Mark 14:26.          New International Version

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.


Whilst it is true that every week brings about a whole host of developments and changes, the week through which we are all living, promises to be one that will bring about changes that, most likely, will influence and effect the course of history for the next few years, if not beyond; The people of the United States of America are voting to choose their next (or indeed perhaps the same) president, England is about to experience its second Covid 19 lockdown (along with many of its European neighbours), and sadly, several European nations are dealing with the aftermath of some deadly extremist attacks. In the vernacular of the meteorological office, stormy, gale force winds are blowing, dark clouds of fear and uncertainty are gathering and an icy cloak of a deepening depression threatens to wrap itself around normal life as we have known it.
Whilst the events and scenery of today’s world may be different, their chilling and discouraging effects may seem to be all too familiar. Past ages have also seen their epidemics, empires, wars, acts of violence and financial struggle. All have come and gone, and then seemingly returned again, with ordinary people boldly living out their lives amidst the choppy waters of these challenges. 
Although it is very tempting to gloss over, to airbrush away life’s darker challenges and to concentrate only on pursuing the happier, fun filled and pleasurable aspects of life, this is and was emphatically not the path that past followers of Almighty God have ever chosen to follow. Rather they expressed and poured out their feelings to God, and found in Him hope and help. King David, for example, when faced with adversity, sickness, betrayal and possible death, turned to God for help and in doing so he discovered an amazing peace ( Psalm 116 7. Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you) and that his prayers were wonderfully answered. (Psalm 116 v 8:  The Lord delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling), 
And many people in the eons that have followed have made similar discoveries; that God walks closely with his creation, and wonderfully, He is only a prayer away!

Amy Peterson, writing in this week’s “Finding Hope in the Psalms" reflects that Jesus, upon realising that His death was imminent, spent part of the same evening singing with his friends words from this very Psalm 116, and indeed those which immediately precede and follow it. 
It’s remarkable that Jesus could sing at all under such circumstances, but what’s even more remarkable is what He actually sang. On that night, Jesus and His friends had eaten a Passover meal, (Mark 14:12-26) and this, as alluded to earlier, always ended with the singing of a series of Psalms known as the Hallel, Psalms 113-118. And so it was that evening. With his friends, and when facing imminent death, Jesus sang these ancient words about the “cords of death” entangling him (Psalm 116 3). 
The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow.

And as He did so, Jesus also praised God’s faithful love for Him (117:2)
For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

 and he thanked God for Salvation (118:4).
Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.”

 Surely these psalms comforted Jesus on the night before His crucifixion because straight after singing them he went off out into the night to meet what he knew would inevitably follow. 
(Mark 14:26.New International Version-When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.)

Jesus’ trust in God was so great that even as He approached His own death (a death He had done nothing to deserve) He chose to sing of God’s love. 

Whatever we may be facing this week, may each of us take heart that we are not walking alone. God is with us both directly and through fellowship with each other. We can therefore be sure in our faith that because of Jesus, in spite of the unfolding events of this week, we too can have confidence in Him; that whatever we face, God is with us. Amen

-Read the words of John Newton's Hymn “Amazing Grace” and reflect upon How sweet is God’s amazing grace to each of us! 

1 Amazing grace (how sweet the sound) that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.

2 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!

3 Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come: 'tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.

4 The Lord has promised good to me, his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.

5 Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease:
I shall possess, within the veil, a life of joy and peace.

6 The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine;
but God, who called me here below, will be forever mine.

-Why not take some time to praise God specifically for His Salvation today!

A Prayer
Lord God please strengthen my faith in You so that when I face trials, or difficulty or even death, I can sing with confidence about your love.

His love endures forever.

May God bless us all this week

In Christian Love


Bible Study 4th November 2020:
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