READING THE BIBLE FOR COMMUNAL TRANSFORMATION
BEFORE YOU START
We have found it helpful to take a few moments before you start to overview the upcoming month for your MC (both MC plans and Redemption Church rhythms)
BEGIN WITH SILENCE AND PRAYER (5 MINUTES)
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting (around a table, on the couch, the floor of a living room, etc.). Invite the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together before spending a brief moment in silence.
DEBRIEF LAST WEEK’S PRACTICE (10-15 MINUTES)
If you are in a Community of seven or more, feel free to divide into small groups of 3–4 people each.
Spend a few minutes catching up before you discuss the following debrief questions:
- How did reading the Bible go for you?
- Was it easy or difficult?
- What did you glean or take away?
- If you didn’t do it, what would it take to make time and space for it?
READ THIS OVERVIEW (5 MINUTES)
If anyone missed last week, be sure to read this through for them.
Our aim for this Fall has been to take part together in the most important component of our apprenticeship to Jesus – being with him. And so each of the practices we have taken part in this Fall has been about setting aside time and space to do just that – being with Jesus.
- silence & solitude: slowing down and calling our attention the reality of God’s nearness to us and with us
- abiding: making space & time to actually call our hearts & minds to learn or relearn how to remain in that reality
- emotional awareness: growing in awareness of our own hearts and emotional state and then being honest about it before God and one another
- casting cares: taking Jesus up on his invitation to bring him our burdens in exchange for his peace
For practices seven and eight the goal remains the same – the practices are built to facilitate being with Jesus – specifically through time reading and reflecting on the Bible. Most of us are familiar and comfortable with the concept of reading the Bible, however many of us wrestle with being formed by what we are learning. That’s why we have opted to take on the practice of lectio divina. Lectio divina has been used as a method of devotional Bible reading in the Christian church since the 6th century. Lectio divina is not meant as a replacement of Bible study or sound biblical hermeneutics, rather it is best used in a complementary partnership with Bible study to help us get what we are learning into our hearts and hands. The practice consists of five distinct movements: Preparing, Reading, Reflection, Response, Rest. Last week we did this practice as individuals, but this week we will modify the practice as we will do it through a collective/corporate lens.
THE PRACTICE (30 MINUTES)
Take a few moments between each step to let them know what will be happening and what’s being asked of them for that time/space. This week will be slightly different than Practice 7 in two ways. First, the aim isn’t so much to reflect on the passage as an individual but as a community. For example, rather than asking, “what does this mean for me?”, ask, “what does this mean for us?”. Second, you will be doing two passages, so the order of the lectio is modified.
- Prepare to meet with God: Turn your phone off and leave it in another room. Take 30-60 seconds together to quiet yourselves before God as you work to prepare your heart to receive what God has spoken, and to respond accordingly. Finally, invite the Holy Spirit to guide your thinking and feeling as you read.
- Read text #1: Have someone read Acts 2:17-24 passage aloud – two times through. As you move through the text, pay close attention to what words and ideas draw your attention in unique ways – specifically in regard to your community.
- Reflect #1: Have everyone read the text silently one more time and spend 2-3 minutes. Jot down the words or phrases that stood out to you in regard to the life or season of your community? Feel free to discuss with one another for a few minutes.
- Read text #2: Have someone read Acts 2:41-47 passage aloud – two times through. As you move through the text, pay close attention to what words and ideas draw your attention in unique ways – specifically in regard to your community.
- Reflect #2: Have everyone read the text silently one more time and spend 3-5 minutes reflecting on the following questions:
- Which words or phrases stand out to you in regard to the life or season of your community?
- Is there anything we need to know, or be, or do in light of the text?
- What does this mean for us?
- Respond: Take 5-10 minutes to discuss a,b,c together. Take a few moments to pray together specifically about your experience. Are there any concrete steps you all need to take, be sure to make plans.
CLOSE IN PRAYER (10 MINUTES)