by Stefenie Choo
Sometime in 2013, numerous painful challenges were inflicted upon me over a short period of time. One day, alone, grieved and feeling extremely down and miserable, I found myself lost in direction in life... Just then, my eyes inadvertently cast upon the Bible on a nearby table in the house. Picking it up, not knowing which part of the Scripture to read on, the Bible opened itself up before me. The Word (Psalm 27) in the Bible came alive and enfolded before me. Its beauty and wisdom permeated into my whole being. Almost instantly, before finishing the third verse, an immense peace overwhelmed me. My spirit was lifted up and revived! The Word of the Lord heals and revitalises, as the Word is Power and Love!
Catholics are privileged to receive both His Word and Holy Communion in each Eucharistic Celebration. In order that our communion with God becomes more complete as we try to live out the Scriptures on a daily basis, we need to know the Lord better through the learning and understanding of His Word. Such soul-searching calls could be accomplished by engaging oneself in a variety of Scripture enrichment sessions. One such Spirit-inspiring scripture study programme is offered by the SIC Scripture Study (SSS) Ministry.
I embarked on the 24-week The Bible Timeline: The Story of Salvation in June 2013, after journeying with SSS in their A Quick Journey Through the Bible and Revelation: The Kingdom Yet to Come modules in 2012 and first half of 2013. My first course with SSS – A Quick Journey Through the Bible – was both the Call and my earnest search for knowing the Lord better. Subsequent enrolment in other modules offered by SSS was the outcome of (i) the tremendous spiritual enrichment gained from earlier modules, (ii) inspiration and enjoyment experienced throughout the learning journey brought forth by the grace of God, the inspiring presenter Jeff Cavins, and the selfless, devoted and caring SSS core-team and facilitators!
The Bible Timeline (BT) comprised a series of 24 weekly sessions of video presentations by Jeff Cavins, an internationally-renowned Bible teacher cum public speaker from USA. This module is a Journey through the Bible that helps participants to learn the “big picture” of God’s plan in Sacred Scripture through 12 biblical periods of salvation history and to understand its meaning for our lives. Each session begins with the Bible Enthronement, followed by Praise & Worship and Gospel reading for the day. The session continues with a one-hour video presentation by Jeff Cavins, followed by another hour of group discussion in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere led by facilitators based on information acquired from the video presentation of the day.
To aid learning, transcribed notes prepared by facilitators and discussion questions are pre-distributed to participants weeks earlier for reading and as reference, and for the preparation of the discussion questions. Discussion questions are designed to take participants into the text, to make the participants think how various parts of the Scriptures are inter-related and are connected to the current world, and how the Word is applicable to their daily lives. Other learning materials carefully sourced and provided in aid of learning include biblical maps, pictures and diagrams, which help to illustrate the study and make it more comprehensible.
I find the BT a fascinating study, taking the participants on a journey through the entire Bible, going deep into each period of salvation history and discovering the amazing story woven throughout all of Sacred Scripture. The module imparts the participants with knowledge of the major people, places and events of the Bible and shows how these come together to reveal the remarkable story of Catholic faith! I have recently signed up for another module entitled Acts: The Spread of the Kingdom which will commence in March 2014. I would strongly encourage all to partake in Scripture modules offered by SSS:
· Modules offered are interesting, well-structured, enriching, enlightening and Spirit-inspiring,
· Presented by an excellent speaker, who communicates the Catholic faith at a level that everyone can understand, taking theological truths and expressing them in a practical way,
· Under the guidance of a team of lively, caring, friendly and devoted SSS facilitators who often-times go beyond the course requirements to, (a) source for additional Scripture-related materials, (b) research information tirelessly in answering class queries, (c) constantly encourage and remind participants to live out the Scripture by sharing information on community/world concerns and various charity/community activities, (d) sustain and instil spiritual zeal and enhance knowledge by organising Scripture-related activities in-between modules such as video screenings, Seder Meal, graduation ceremony,
· Meeting and making many new friends as brothers- & sisters-in-Christ from other parishes, and
· Joy and fulfilment experienced throughout the Journey into God's Word.
Photography: Matthew Soo & John Ragai
Click here for more information about SSS.