Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. - From this Sunday’s Collect
The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was once quoted saying, “as soon as you think you know what the Bible is, you turn the page and it turns into something different.” The Bible is the voice through which God speaks to us. We are told stories of those that were called, and how they served God. It is through the Bible that offers us wisdom, truth, love, justice and redemption of God’s way.
Scripture is not a historical anthology. The Bible is organic, fills us with new understandings, and awakens us in new ways. The text fills us and moves us every time that we return to read and pray. The stories and passages that we once knew, take on new meaning as our relationship with God grows. It is no wonder that this Sunday’s Collect calls for us to “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest” Scripture. Lessons learned before, are new again, and challenge us in new ways. We can never be so certain to know God and God’s way, as God awakens us to different understandings.
When I was named the deacon intern for St. James, I was charged to pursue ministry work that enhanced scriptural literacy. Since September, we have had monthly Bible studies and reflections on Scripture. These Bible studies are a continuation of studies that we had during Lent and Easter season. Through Bible study, we engage with Scripture in news ways that allows the Holy Spirit to transform us and to boldly follow God’s way. Holy Scripture prepares us to enter into a deeper relationship with God, as we experience stories of God throughout time.
God invites us into a journey of possibilities. Through Holy Scripture, we are told the noble truths that allow us to turn to God and be sustained in our work and mission. This invitation allows God to work through us, and be a source of God’s will.
As we read Scripture together, we explore ways to deepen our relationship with Jesus, and seek ways to be a source of God’s eternal love and mercy. Bible study enriches us as we learn, grow, and ultimately be transformed. Through deep study and prayer, we ask questions and seek deeper meaning.
Our Collect for this Sunday, invites us to engage with Scripture in ways that allows the Holy Spirit to envelop us in all of its wonder and possibilities. Scripture moves us to see and be a witness to the presence of Christ around us. It is an account of God that guides us to understand God’s love, grace, justice and redemption. Scripture heals, motivates, and disrupts. It is the testament of God’s presence here and now and calls us into a deeper journey of faith. It is essential that as we seek Christ, we also commit to read and pray with Scripture.
I invite you to follow God’s call and to be transformed through the Holy Word. Join us, and share your spiritual journey, as we read Scripture together.
Reclaiming Jesus Bible Study takes place the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Sunday of each month in the Jonathan Daniels Room, following the 10 am service.