“. . . examining the scriptures daily,” Acts 17:11
Every now and then it's easy to slip back into the old selfish way of living. We decide we are going to be in charge, we let our personal experience do the leading.
The results of living this way are not encouraging; it creates people with spiritual interest, but without any real direction of who or what they are becoming. It leads to accumulating an ego-centered, spiritual potpourri of self-help and pop psychology. To understand we are not in charge, we have to be in front of something much bigger than us.
This is why, as a church, we read the scriptures together. An interest in the soul apart from an interest in scripture, leaves us without a text to shape us. There are reasons for reading the same text together.
Reminds us 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 creates a unity in humility.
Re-establishes the Bible as the center text for living the Christian life deeply and well.
It places personal experiences under the authority of the Bible, not over it. Our emotions, our ideas, our instincts, are not the final arbiter of our life. His word is the ultimate tipping point for all issues of life.
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. We are brought into active participation in God’s challenging, inviting, rebuking, comforting, directing. From beginning to end, we take part in His story.
Reopens our spiritual hearing.
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.
Pick a chapter and verse, read it and just sit and listen. Make note of what you hear.