Through the book of Genesis, we have seen a world created good fall into sin and violence, and a God who establishes a covenant with an obscure man named Abraham so that in him "all the families of the earth will be blessed" (12:3). Exodus is about God's faithfulness to this covenant with Abraham and his family, and about a new covenant that will set the people of Israel apart as a holy nation.
Some things for which to look out:
-How do the promises of Genesis come to bear upon this story? How does God remain faithful?
-What kind of covenants does God establish with Israel in the wilderness? What designs does God have for this nation?
-Forgetting and Remembrance. How are the Israelites forgetful? What does God establish to help them remember not only the past, but to remember their true identity as a people set apart?
Paul's epistle to the Romans is one of the most comprehensive presentations of the Christian faith in scripture. It can be pretty dense, so here are a few guiding questions:
-What is the big problem? What is wrong with creation? What is wrong with humanity? What are the roots of the problem? And can we do anything about it?
-What is the connection between what happened to Jesus and what happened to us? How is his death relevant? How is his resurrection relevant? How do they manifest in the lives of people and in creation?
-This will bring us to Chapter 8: What is God's intention for all creation?
And an important note: Romans is about the corruption of all creation and the renewal of all creation. We as individuals are important and the Gospel is meaningful to our lives, but only insomuch as it is part of God's providential plans to renew all things. This is an exposition of the world's rightful Lord making all things right again; find yourself in that bigger story and ask how it impinges upon our lives. This is bigger than us!
And as Romans is pretty dense, I will try my best to perhaps put up some more frequent posts about it for those of you following along at home.