This week we learn about the role of the Bible in the life of the Church and talk about why it’s so important for our faith! Scroll down for this week’s WRAP (Watch, Read, Act, Pray)
This video comes from the Alpha Course, a course founded by a popular evangelical movement based in London and designed for people, especially youth, who want to learn about Christianity. It provides a basic overview of what the Bible is and the role it plays for followers of Jesus in the life of the church. The Alpha Course adopts a more conservative approach about the Bible, but overall this video is a solid introduction to why and how to read Scripture.
The first part of this week’s reading comes from Rachel Held Evans’ book, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again. In it, she describes her journey of learning the Bible as a child, questioning it as a young adult, and learning to love it again after reading it again with fresh eyes. Click on the image to download a pdf of the chapter.
The second part of this week’s reading is Chapter 2 of My Faith My Life. Click the image to download a pdf reading of the chapter. This provides a detailed overview of what the Bible is, how it came to be what we read today, and why it’s so important! A lot of this information is in the Alpha video above, but with a more nuanced Episcopal approach to Scripture.
The poetry of Psalm 24 tells us that “the earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for God founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.”
Throughout the Bible we are reminded that everything that has been made was created by God and is deeply loved by God. We are called as part of the created order to love and care for our fellow creatures.
One way we can engaged in this sacred calling is through caring for the earth and engaging in climate justice and creation care. Do something that gives back to the earth in some way. Here are some ideas: Plant a seed, Recycle more than you throw away, Compost for a week OR sign up for Compost Now (an organization based in the Triangle that helps simplify composting for your household by dropping off and picking up your compost bin each week).
One of the most common ways we use scripture in the Episcopal church is through praying it. Nearly all of the prayers in our Book of Common Prayer are based in scripture. In addition, we practice a form of prayer called Lectio Divina, or “divine reading.”
You are invited to try it out this week, using Sunday’s Gospel reading, following the steps below. You may want to do it with a friend, mentor, or family member.
- Read the following passage out loud once through and observe a minute of silence.
- Read it a second time, again out loud. Reflect: What word or phrase stuck out to me? Write it down or share with the group if doing it together.
- Read the passage a final time out loud. Consider: What might this passage be calling me or us to be or do? Who else is rising to the surface of my prayers?
- You might want to spend some extra time in silence, journaling, or praying as part off your reflection..
- Close with the Lord’s Prayer
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’ A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.