Methvin: Authority of Scripture
Fr. Greg Methvin (email)
With our final installment of our Struggling with Scripture series, we addressed the importance of actually engaging the Bible directly. What we believe about the Bible is significant, but it is more critical to read it and allow God to exercise his authority in our lives through the medium of the Scriptures.
One of our collects in the Book of Common Prayer puts it this way: “Grant us so to hear, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest Holy Scripture, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life.” Here are a few suggestions on how to put that prayer into action this year.
1. Just Getting Started: So church and the Bible are new things for you, or perhaps you were not quite wide awake during all those years of Sunday School. If you have small children, learn the basic Bible stories by reading to them. I recommend The Read and Learn Bible produced by the American Bible Society (4-7 year olds), but don’t be afraid to pick up a young reader’s version for yourself. The Picture Bible (David C. Cook) is written in comic book form so it flows like one continuous story and doesn’t avoid some of the spicier stories. If that feels a bit immature, then dive into The One Year Bible which you can find online.
2. Getting Back in the Habit: Before I ever became an Episcopalian, I was first drawn to the systematic reading of Scripture found in the Daily Common Lectionary. I made it my practice to read along with Christians around the globe. You can join this daily reading plan online through Forwardmovement.org or The Lectionary at www.satucket.com/lectionary. I also use the Mission St. Clare app for the Daily Office (prayer service of our tradition) when I do not join our regular service at 7:30am in the chapel.
3. Needing to Go Deeper: If you feel hungry for the study of the Bible, I would choose one of our weekday Bible studies at the church: The Gospel of Matthew meets in The Flat on Tuesdays at noon or join Ron Scates study of the Book of James on Friday at 7:30am in the Dining Hall. A good teacher who can help with good resources makes all the difference. If you would like to go solo, you will find N.T. Wright’s For Everyone Series on various Bible books very readable and informative. This Anglican bishop and world class biblical scholar will help you better understand God’s Word and faithfully apply it.
Dietrich Bonheoffer, German theologian and modern saint, lost his life by living his faith in the face of the Nazi regime. He also dug deep into his Bible. He wrote, “Every day in which I do not penetrate more deeply into the knowledge of God’s word in Holy Scripture is a lost day to me. I can only move forward with certainty upon the firm ground of the Word of God.”
May that passion for God’s word echo in our lives this New Year. Blessings!