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Bible Study Oct & Nov 2014 – What if God was one of us?


    Beginning 22 October 2014, we will be watching, and discussing, a great show that aired back in 2003 – JOAN OF ARCADIA. Unfortunately, and like many great deep thinking shows, it got cancelled at the end of season two, but I tell you, IT WAS A GREAT SHOW. In the show God shows up as some very different kinds of people, which is a lot like the photo in my pastor’s message in this issue.

    What if God was one of us? What if God wanted to grab the attention of a teenager today … what would God do? That’s what JOAN OF ARCADIA Writer/Producer Barbara Hall was wondering when she came up with the concept for the show. Barbara Hall, says, “When my daughter was about to come of age, I began to wonder what it would look like if God tried to grab the attention of a teenager today. What would that process look like, and would a modern teenager be able to have the fortitude to follow that calling? Then I sort of pictured what my daughter would do if God ever talked to her, and I knew she would be the type to argue with God, getting snippy.”

    Each week on the show we get a new “sighting” of God through the eyes of 16-year-old Joan Girardi, an average girl with average problems – keeping her grades up, having crushes on boys and fighting with her two brothers. Joan, however, receives not-so-average “visitations,” much like stories told about the historical Joan of Arc. God hasn’t yet asked Joan of Arcadia to lead her nation into battle, but has given concrete instructions such as get a job in a bookstore, learn chess, or try out for the cheerleading squad. The instructions don’t make sense at the time, but by the end of the show viewers can see that of course God had a plan and Joan was an important part of it.
    In Joan’s first conversation with God as a cute teenage guy (this is just God’s first appearance – see photo), Joan asks a lot of questions. Here is part of that conversation:

    Joan: Let’s say you’re God.
    God: Thank you.
    Joan: I want to ask you some questions.
    God: No. As a general rule, I ask the questions.
    Joan: Are you being snippy with me?
    God: Let me explain something to you Joan … I take this form (i.e. cute teenage guy) because you are comfortable with it, it makes sense to you, and if I’m snippy, it’s because you understand snippy.

    There is a lot of good theology and humour in this show. For each preceding Bible study I will publish (on the website and in the Sunday bulletin) the bible readings that will help you prepare for the discussion. Come to our bible study and discover and discuss good theology.

    Weekly readings for preparation:

    • Wednesday 29th October: Read Genesis 28:10-22, 32:22-32, Exodus 33:17-22, John 10:27-30
    • Wednesday 5th November: Read Luke 5:17-26, Psalm 8:4-5
    • Wednesday 12th November: Read Luke 18:1-8,
    • Wednesday 19th November: Read Jeremiah 1:1-10, Genesis 6:9-22 ; Romans 8:26-30