This is Tony and Maria. They are empty nesters now and have been married over 30 years with two children and five grandchildren. They have studied the Bible their whole lives and continue to learn how much they still have to learn.
As they studied the Text, Tony and Maria were trying to find what it means to be a follower of Jesus and live it out in a real community. They wanted to know who Jesus was and what it would have been like to know him from the beginning. They were asking:
- Who was Jesus?
What was it like when he was alive?
Where did he live?
Jesus was a real person in history, and they didn’t know anything about him. They decided together they were going to learn more about the culture surrounding his time on earth. They remembered their children teaching them to do Google searches to find random things, and their searching led them to BEMA.
Listening along with Marty and Brent each week, they immediately adopted themselves into the BEMA podrishioner family. From early in Session 1, their minds were blown. They began to see sabbath in a new light and realized how important it was to their lives and their story. They started exploring how to “trust the story.” They became more aware and appreciative of biblical context. They started to see how the Bible had been assembled using different literary tools for a variety of purposes.
Once they caught up with the podcast, they wanted to do more than listen along; they wanted to participate in the community. There was not a group in their area, so Tony and Maria decided to contact BEMA, and now they are on the map. Each week their group shares the ideas they have about the topics discussed in the podcast. They share where the discussion is impacting them and the implications it has for them moving forward.
Tony and Maria now see how our context today compares and contrasts with the context of the Bible. They see how they can use their lives to love God and love others. And the Text continues to bring change and growth, opening their hearts and their minds.