Preparing for Sunday — The Company We Keep: Reading the Bible Together

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I hope your week is going well thus far. One of the things you might enjoy is looking at some of the pictures I uploaded from our Laundry Love BBQ last Thursday.

There’s not too much going on this week but we are ramping up to do peace playhouse next week and yearly meeting the following. So there’s some big stuff on the horizon!

I plan to be out at the Farmer’s market with the family from 5-6pm tomorrow and will be grabbing dinner. If you’d like to come out and join us that would be awesome!

Preparing for Sunday

We are currently looking at what it means to be a participatory church. This is in part based on some of my observations of the Quaker tradition as having participation at the core of its identity and some of this is an extension of some of the things we discussed based on John 21 and the Resurrection Community. (If you missed last week and would like to read the message you can do so here or you can download the podcast on iTunes.)

For a quick reminder, last Sunday we consider the things that become obstacles to us having a deep and authentic faith. This week I want to look at how early Friends read the bible in a participatory way and how we might learn form their practice and how it might help us in our spiritual lives.

Here’s a couple passage of Scripture for reflection that underscore Friends understanding of how we read Scripture:

Acts 8:26–31
“Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.” So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him.
2 Corinthians 3:1–6
“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
John 14:26
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.

Queries:

  • What has been you experience of reading the bible?
  • What are some of the “things” or “company” you bring with you to the Bible when you read it?
  • What kinds of practices in reading Scripture have been helpful for you in finding spiritual nourishment from the sacred texts in the past?  What has not worked?
  • What questions do you bring to the Bible?

This week as you read the passages above, or other passages in Scripture invite the Holy Spirit  to guide your meditations on these written words of God.

Blessings,

Wess