This is Canon Victoria’s letter in our weekly Parish News email. To sign up for our newsletter, please visit: Constant Contact. To see the full weekly Parish News email from Oct 14th, please visit: http://conta.cc/2ee66bA
Abraham Lincoln was famous as being a very slow reader, but once he read something he “owned it”. Do you yet own the great narrative of the scriptures? Have you read through Genesis through Kings in the great arc of the story that precedes Christ? How about the four gospels? How about Peter and Paul’s letters?
When you read the scriptures, what do you read? What were scriptures that changed your view of something? Would you email me your favorite three books or what your experience is of the scriptures? (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Over the years, the Tuesday Bible Group has covered many of the books of the Bible, but not everyone can take the opportunity of attending that class that Ed Fordyce leads so well. What was an experience of studying the Bible that worked for you?
Episcopalians pride ourselves that our Book of Common Prayer is 95% Scripture. We also brag that our lectionary covers most of the Bible in the three-year cycle of Sunday readings. All the reading however does not mean we “own” our scriptures. We may know the pieces without a sense of the whole.
Going to seminary was actually the first time I read much of the Bible. I was taught well and I did well. I was taught in seminary to analyze the scriptures, not to read and meditate upon them. It was not until I lived in Italy that I learned to read, really read, and find deep meanings for my own life in the Scriptures. Why? I was unable to take all my commentaries. Do not misunderstand me. I cherish the wisdom and careful scholarship of modern critical scholars, and for that matter, the commentaries of early fathers and the early Reformers. I use commentaries from present and long past to prepare for preaching, but commentaries are like maps. A map is invaluable to know where you are going. Maps, however, are no substitute for walking or driving to see for yourself. A map can tell you how to get to the Grand Canyon. It is walking to the rim that that brings the gasp to your lips, and the awe into your heart.
Thank you for your epistle on Bible study! I can’t join the group on Tuesday mornings, but I’d love to have a scripture study group on Sundays between services. Favorites? I love to read Genesis, Isaiah, Psalms, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Romans, and Philippians. All the rest of the books, I need and want to experience more deeply, too.
One of my signature verses that informs my life:
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
I do Bible self-study frequently but sporadically with my daughter and alone, but have appreciated guided group study so much at Redeemer and other churches in my past. Most years, my Lenten discipline includes my own adaptation of lectio divina in experiencing and growing through The Word.
I look forward to new opportunities for scriptural learning and growth in solitude and with others at Redeemer. Thank you for asking our thoughts!
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