“I am so glad to be home!” exclaimed Hugh. He tugged at the green sweater he wore, struggling to remove it before he began to teach his Sunday School class.
“Where have you been, Hugh?” asked Thomas. “Johnny did a fine job teaching our class the last couple of Sundays, but we missed you being with us.”
“I experienced an adventure of a lifetime the last three weeks, Johnny. I visited Israel for twelve days and then flew to Greece for a five-day tour.”
“That sounds exciting,” replied David,
“My plane landed in Athens without any problem. The driver who was to pick me up, was waiting as my tour company promised. My fears were greatly relieved.”
Where did you stay?” posed Maryanne.
“I stayed in Athens at a hotel with the Greek name, ‘Rooster.’ It had a beautifully etched rooster on the glass in the front of the hotel. My hotel was near the Syntagma Square where various groups demonstrate. Twice, I had to exit my bus two or three blocks from my hotel after being on tour all day because of demonstrations. Once the communist party demonstrated against a longer work week.”
“That sounds like an interesting week, for sure,” piped in Sally.
“But that wasn’t the real adventure. My tour bus and guide arrived on time in front of the hotel on the first afternoon I arrived in Greece. We headed to Cape Sunion to tour the Temple of Poseidon. We passed beautiful scenes of the Greek coastline, viewed the Saronic Gulf and some of its islands, along with scanning a few steep cliffs and crystal blue water.”
“What was the Temple of Poseidon like?” asked Maryanne.
“I don’t want to waste too much time on this, but it had a single row of columns around the edge of the temple. It had six columns at the end and thirteen along the side for a total of 34 columns. I counted sixteen columns standing. Four northern columns were reconstructed in the 1950’s said our guide. The columns were of Doric order. Each column stood about 20 feet tall and about 3 feet in diameter. What is unusual are the 16 flutes around the columns rather than the usual 20 flutes. The major building material was marble. Scholars claim the marble came from a nearby area, Agrileza.”
“Wow, we know how you like history and archeology. That must have been exciting for you to see,” exclaimed Thomas.
“Yes, it was, but that was not my big adventure. As I viewed the remains of this ancient temple, and walked around the grounds, I remembered the tour guide instructingl us to meet at the bus at 5:15 pm to head back to Athens. So, about 5:00 pm, I began my walk to the bus parking lot. And when I arrived, guess what?”
“What?” chimed in Thomas.
“My bus had already left. I was left behind.”
“What did you do?” asked Sally.
“I said to myself, ‘Big boy, this is not the time to begin to cry. You must be adult about this. So, I walked over to 2 Greek bus drivers, praying they spoke English.”
I asked, “Do either of you speak English?”
“They looked at each other, said something in Greek. I am sure one of them said, “We have another American who can’t tell time. Then, one of them answered in perfect English, “Yes, we do. Did you miss your bus?”
“Yes, I did, it appears.”
The bus drivers laughed again. The second bus driver said, “This happens all the time. We take care of all the passengers. Do you see that big, purple bus across the parking lot? Get on it when the others start loading. Just tell me the name of your hotel and we will drop you off.”
“Hugh, that is amazing! Left behind at the Temple of Poseidon. You ought to write a book and make a movie about that!” laughed Sherry.
Hugh laughed and said, “Might do it. Let’s get started with our lesson for today.”
“Today, I want us to start learning how to do what I call chapter annotations. I will begin to lay out some general rules for these chapter annotations and will eventually provide you with a sample annotation.”
“Of course, when we begin any Bible study, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit. We desire to learn and apply God’s Word. Psalms 119:18 sums our desire best, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things our of your law.” Bible study ought to be a wondrous adventure as we get to know our Savior and His ways better.
“Psalm 119:22 reminds us to hide God’s Word in our heart so we won’t sin against God. Verse 28 of the same Psalm exhorts us to gain spiritual strength from God’s Word. Added to those from Psalm 119 comes verse 50 that teaches us the Bible contains promises for us to trust while verse 60 exhorts us to be quick to obey God’s commands.”
“Remember sin corrupts our minds. We possess human, carnal, and fallen minds. The Bible is God-breathed (inspired – 2 Tim 3:16-17). We carry the baggage of preunderstandings and presuppositions which need to be checked by the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 2:14 teaches without the Holy Spirit, men do not accept the truths from God but considers them foolishness. The SPIRITUAL truths of Scripture can only be understood by the aid of the Holy Spirit.
Once we have prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit, we need to read the biblical passage several times. I prefer to read the passage at least 5 time and maybe more, if it is a difficult pasage: twice from my favorite translation and one time from three different translations. I don’t look for anything specific. I merely read to get the content of the chapter into my mind. You might want to listen to a recording of the chapter for more details.
After I have read the chapter several times, I seek to summarize the chapter into one short, succinct caption. I attempt to limit it to seven words or fewer if possible. The shorter, the easier to remember. I also want the title to be catchy or memorable.
So, let’s stop and practice what we have discussed. I know we haven’t covered much material, but these are important steps. Let’s read through Mark chapter 1 five times. What titles would you give to Mark 1? Share those in the response box, please. Then we can discuss them. Titles I might use: “Great Beginnings!” “Strong Starts!” “”Introductions Please!”
Consider Completing the following statement:
My title for Mark 1 might be:
Ask yourself, “Does it cover the content of Mark chapter 1?”
Can I and others remember it?
STATEMENTS YOU MIGHT CONSIDER TWEETING: