Chapter 1 in the Book of Ruth
The reason why, as a church, we read the scriptures together, is because an interest in the soul, apart from any interest in scripture, leaves us without a text to shape us. By reading the same text together, we are reminded that we are not in charge; there is an authority, a voice which has a bigger say so than us. Reading the text as a community re-establishes the Bible as the center text for living the Christian life deeply and well. It places personal experience under the authority of the Bible, not over it.
Reading the text together guards against fragmenting the scripture,cherry-picking a hand full of verses. Instead, we enter into God’s story, slowly, week-by-week, line-by-line, we learn the language of the soul, the way God speaks to us. We move beyond ourselves, we become formed and defined by God’s story. We become God-aware. We learn God doesn’t make speeches, He enters conversations.
Whether we know it or not, the text assumes we are participants in what is written. We are not bystanders, or eavesdroppers. As a church, we read and listen, and we are brought into active participation by God’s challenging, inviting, rebuking, comforting, and directing us.
From beginning to end, we take part in His story.
The text read together administers a verbal jolt to our ears, surprising us out of our hurried life and self-defeating addictions. We take in the text, then live it in our everyday roles and routines. We don’t waste any of it, we use it up and we return on Sunday to read again.
Listen to the story with fresh ears. This week read the story of Ruth in a different translation other than the one you normally use.