The Bible Challenge — Week 6

9 May

OK.  I am a bad blogger.  And this Bible Challenge really is a challenge — not as much the reading of scripture as the making time to read.  I am still working on just the right pattern of reading so that I am not constantly scrambling to catch up.  I have let a few days go as well.  But when I do sit down to read the scripture, I am glad I did so… even if the text isn’t as always as immediately rewarding as it is at other times.  In the Old Testament we had a wonderful narrative journey from the dawn of Creation, through the salvation of the Israelites from Egypt.  We were introduced to some of the great leaders of the faith.  (And at times we were at times bogged down by details, like measurements and genealogy.)  The end of Exodus and beginning of Leviticus provide a lot of those kinds of details, lots of technical information about how vestments, and worship space and form should be.  I think it is overwhelming and inspiring — what if we took such care in our lives, to sanctify all that we do in thanksgiving to God.  What if we believed that even the most mundane aspects of our lives were holy in the sight of God.  That is one thing I love about the Bible Challenge so far, that I spend a lot more time reading and pondering scripture.  I have noticed that I have been seeing things around me through the lens of scripture.  My experience of theological reflection is deepening.  Have you noticed that as well?

One interesting thing about this experience — we will find our way through each of the four Gospel accounts.  We have experienced Christ’s birth, life and minstry, and his death and resurrection, through Matthew’s eyes… and now we are immersed in the Gospel according to Mark.  A seminary professor once told me that Mark’s account is an express train to the Cross.  There is no birth narrative — we begin with John the Baptist, and Jesus’ baptism, as an adult, by John.  Then Jesus is immediately driven out into the wilderness by the Spirit and is tempted by Satan.  Jesus builds his team of disciples and immediately sets out to heal and proclaim the Good News.  Everything happens with great haste, immediately.  The disciples just don’t understand what’s going on, and yet Jesus continues to empower them to serve the Gospel.  Jesus keeps telling people not to tell others about him — which only seems to increase their zeal and motivation to shout with joy to all whom they encounter.  Many lenses for us to see and hear and experience the living Word…Read with others, and ask questions, and share your own perspectives… God’s Word continues to be revealed through us, in Christ.


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