The key to the success of the early church was its use of unique and unexpected methods for changing the world. Today those elements continue to be what fuels her success. This week we take a break from our study in Acts to once again discover afresh the ingredients of each Christian and ultimately the flourishing of the church. The CP devos are created for you each week. Read them, soak them in, and pass them on to others.
“And they read from the book, from the law of God, translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading.” Nehemiah 8:8
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.