I believe there are a lot of hidden lessons to be found in our reading of the book of Acts. Some of these stories are so obscure like last week’s, or take so long to develop that we don’t take the time it takes to read them all the way through in worship. And that is why I’ve asked all of us… at our own pace, to read the book of Acts.
Sunday was the first experience of what I am anticipating happening more and more as we move through this year of “Opening ourselves to the Holy Spirit” with the book of Acts as our model. Sunday was the first day we used a difficult, mostly unknown scripture to make an important statement about our church. If sitting in church was the first time you encountered this story in Acts 5, as I know it was for many of you, it was very hard to get beyond the plot…And you probably had a little less “bandwidth” to be open to the message that… like the early church, we cannot bear deception and hidden agendas and be all that God intends for us to be together.
So today I want to do everything to both inspire and motivate you to read Acts. Here are some suggestions. If you need a Bible let me know…we are a church…we have Bibles to give away. The Gideons do a great job with this, but they do not have a corner on that market.
You can get the Bible on whatever device you’re reading this memo on. There are so many versions out there I want to remind you that I am using two…The Message and The New Revised Standard Version.
You can click at the listed scripture at the end and go directly to the scripture for Sunday morning. You can check out the worship page in the newsletter for the Sunday morning scripture readings a month in advance or find them on the home page of this website. Maybe read a few chapters or verses before and after each one of those readings.
If after reading the scriptures you have some significant question or wonder what was that… Come to the Sunday morning 8:30 Bible Study that Drake Talbert and I lead. The nursery is staffed, and older kids can hang out together. We have a great core group for this study, so you won’t feel like you are the only one in the room. We will spend the hour talking about the context of scripture and bringing that context to our lives. It’s a very interesting hour. Those who have been in this study often comment that it deepens not only their understanding of scripture, but also their experience of worship. (We also have our own coffee pot.)
If you want to give me a text, email or a phone call or even a get together about your questions or concerns about the scripture…do it. I would be overjoyed to spend time on a couple of emails or at a lunch or two every week.
This week is another example of how important is your reading ahead of time to deepen your worship experience and to participate in Opening Ourselves to the Holy Spirit. So how about it…check out the story of Stephen in Acts 6 and Acts 7.
Keep the Faith,