[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is inviting Anglicans and other Christians from around the world to join him in a live Bible study using the social media website Facebook. Participants will be studying John 1: 35-42, which records Jesus calling his first disciples. The live Bible study isn’t a sermon – participants will be able to contribute questions and their own reflections to Archbishop Welby and the Revd Chris Russell, the Archbishop’s Advisor for Evangelism and Witness.
“In this passage from the first chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus of Nazareth is introduced in a way that is fascinating and captivating,” Archbishop Welby said. “John the Baptizer makes the introductions – literally pointing the way to his disciples. They follow Jesus and their first encounter with him is life-changing. In this meeting we ourselves encounter something beautiful in how Jesus meets us.
“But this meeting isn’t some kind of private experience. It profoundly changes them, and their families, and all their ways and means. What looked like a chance encounter turns out to be the defining meeting of their lives. So we’ll be opening the curtain on this drama – one where we find that we too are invited not just to watch, but to participate.”
The Bible study will take place on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Facebook page at midday BST (11 am GMT) tomorrow, Thursday 19 May. “If you’d like to participate . . . spend some time reading and praying with the passage between now and Thursday,” Archbishop Welby said.
Participants are invited to post their questions and reflections as comments to a Facebook post by Archbishop Welby. “We’ll try to answer as many as we can. Or you can just join us on the day,” Archbishop Welby said. “We’d also love to read your prayers and reflections that emerge from reading the passage, so please write those in the comments.”