Last year our church began a four-year emphasis called Living our Faith—Pray, Read, Worship, Love. For the past 12 months, we have been focusing on a year of prayer.
It has been heartening to me to hear stories of people starting prayer groups and of individuals trying new forms of prayer. I’ve very much enjoyed the weekly postcards and monthly longer articles where members of our church have shared insights into their lives of prayer (https://elcic.ca/livingourfaith/resources.cfm).
This September, we move on to a year of reading scripture. I am asking the members of our church to form Living our Faith —Bible Book Clubs.
Each month we will read a different book of the Bible and then meet to have conversation. 1517 Media has agreed to let us republish the introductory pieces for each book that appear in A Lutheran Study Bible (a great resource which I highly recommend!). Different rostered leaders of our church have undertaken to write questions for each month. And each book club session will begin and end with prayer (because it’s not like we are done with prayer!).
This is what I am hoping and praying for our church with the Bible Book Club:
- That we will incorporate regular reading of scripture into our lives.
- That our discussions together will enrich our lives and strengthen our faith.
- That we will be people eager to listen to how God is speaking to us now through scripture.
I know I am privileged because the nature of my job regularly brings me into contact with scripture. But I admit that when I pick up my Bible, I don’t have the same kind of anticipation as when I pick up the latest novel I’m reading. Partly its because the Bible is an old friend, I’ve read the books contained within many times. But partly because I usually tell people about the latest book I’m reading and I don’t tend to talk about what part of the Bible I’m reading.
Well, why not? Let’s start talking more about the books of the Bible!
I hope you will join me in this year of Bible Book Clubs. We begin in September with Genesis.
Blessings on your reading!
Creator of all, as we gather to start our Bible Book Club, be with us. Open your scripture to us. Open our hearts and our ears to listen to you and each other. May these stories of our ancestors of faith remind us that even though we are saints and sinners that you call us to follow you. In your holy name we pray.
National Bishop Susan Johnson
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada