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Didache (Teaching)

Didache - The Ministry of Teaching
Readings: Reflections, pp.29-31; UC Perspective, p.8; RC Perspective, p.8
What words or phrases stand out for you in the following passages?
Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account
of the events that have been fulfilled among us,
just as they were handed on to us
by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses
and servants of the word,
I too decided,
after investigating everything carefully from the very first,
to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
so that you may know the truth
concerning the things about which you have been instructed.

Luke 1: 1-4
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain;
and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.
Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you
and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven,
for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

- Matthew 5:1-12
Excerpts for Reflection and Discussion
  1. "Since the whole body of the faithful participate in the prophetic office of Christ, it might also be said that the church is a community of teachers. Together, each and all in the church are called to be teachers on mission."
  2. "Also, all the laity are called through their baptism and hence by their participation in the prophetic office of Christ to the proclamation of the Gospel."
  3. "God’s ministry in and through Jesus Christ is also typified as a teaching ministry. The predominant message of Jesus, standing in the Deuteronomic tradition, is the coming of the Reign of God.... As part of his mission Jesus’ teaching focuses on incorporating others into the vision of the coming Reign and its proclamation."
  4. "Jesus teaches as a Jewish Rabbi of the period. He is recognised as such by his contemporaries who call him ‘teacher’ (e.g. John 3:2).... His teaching often, but not exclusively, takes the form of an exposition of the law."
  5. "Jesus’ teaching takes place in the synagogue and in more informal settings."
  6. "This mission of teaching is handed on to the disciples, and thus to the church in following generations."
  7. "Jesus Christ is the model for, and content of the church’s teaching."
  8. "The Holy Spirit enables and guides the authenticity of the church’s teaching for the fulfilment of its mission.... The Holy Spirit is the teacher par excellence in all the effective teaching of the church"
  9. "Authentic teaching by the church has its foundation in Jesus’ teaching that seeks to draw all into God’s kingdom."
    • When did you last attend a Bible Study or read a spiritual book, “investigating everything carefully”? (Can you share something that you learned?)
    • What knowledge of the faith do you pass on, and to whom?
    • Is teaching and catechesis given a high value in the life of your congregation?
    • How does the UCC engage in the teaching ministry of Jesus?