Sharing the Word

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

 

For use: Aug 9 – 15

Texts: Psalm 119:105; Jeremiah 23:29; Hebrews 1:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; 1 John 1:7-9; Ecclesiastes 3:1; 2 Timothy 4:2

 

Is it safe to share home-baked goods with your neighbors and friends during the pandemic? Can the coronavirus be transmitted through food? Here’s the full question about the protocol for sharing food during coronavirus submitted to “Ask the Eater,” a Bay Area blog:

“Dear Eater SF, What’s the etiquette for sharing baked goods right now? I’m doing a lot of quarantine baking, but my partner and I can’t eat it all. Normally I share these treats with my coworkers, but now, I don’t know! Is it safe to drop off packages for friends and neighbors, as long as they feel comfortable accepting them? Sincerely, Quarantined Pastry Queen.” [1]

The answer given by “Ask the Eater” is that public authorities don’t directly answer this question. The blog writer explains, “There is currently no evidence to support the transmission of the virus through food, according to both the CDC and the FDA.”

She suggests you ask your neighbor if they’re comfortable receiving food and, if so, drop it off on their doorstep and maintain social distancing. Some foods can be reheated, and that can kill bacteria (and might kill viruses), but it’s best to remove food from containers, throw the containers away (or wash them), and wash your hands.

This week’s Sabbath school lesson, “Sharing the Word,” describes symbols for the Bible within the Scriptures itself. One metaphor compares the Word of God with nourishing bread. Nothing can satisfy the deepest hungers in a person’s life more than the life-giving messages of the Scriptures. But these transforming words should not be kept to ourselves.

Like Quarantined Pastry Queen, when we delight in the Bread from heaven found in the Bible, we cannot help but want to share this divine food with friends and neighbors. And during the pandemic, we need to do it carefully and with thoughtfulness.

One of the primary ways people are sharing their faith is through emails, texts, blogs, and virtual social gatherings. Those who witness face-to-face are thoughtfully wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing guidelines, and emailing materials to people so that there is no direct contact of materials.

“Ask Eater” shares, “It’s a wonderful impulse to want to share loaves with family, friends, and neighbors, especially during these trying times.” If you’re like Quarantined Pastry Queen, you’re probably tired of hiding out in the kitchen. It’s the time to share bread.


For Reflection

Connecting: Think of a time when a friend, neighbor or co-worker shared a treat with you. How did it make you feel?

Sharing: What symbols are found in the Bible to describe itself? Which of these symbols best depict how you picture sharing the Word of God with others?

  1. Psalm 119:105, a lamp to shed light on a pathway
  2. Jeremiah 23:29, a hammer to convict and break hard hearts
  3. Luke 8:11, a farmer’s seed that multiplies
  4. Matthew 4:4, the bread that feeds the whole person
  5. James 1:23, a mirror that reflects one’s true condition before God
  6. Other…

Applying: How can you safely share the Word during this pandemic? Come up with a creative list of ways you can be of encouragement to others through sharing Bible promises. Then make a concrete plan with your group to go spread the Scriptures. Be prepared to share your experiences with your group through texting or a social media app if you cannot gather together in person.

Valuing: Have you hesitated to share Bible messages with others during this difficult time in our world? Pray with one other person for God to give you courage and direction on how you can be a light in your neighborhood this coming week.

~ Curtis Rittenour

[1] https://sf.eater.com/2020/4/8/21213952/is-it-safe-to-share-homemade-food-neighbors-coronavirus-sourdough