How Do You Engage the Word?

By Jen Gillan

I’ve loved hearing our thoughts on Scripture this past month. A lot of what this blog is about is creating space for thoughtful reflection around these core affirmations of our denomination so that we can learn from each other and grow more deeply in our faith. In some ways, what we’ve been doing these last few weeks is thinking about how we think about Scripture – always a good place to start. What has stood out to me in these discussions is that we’ve often named the importance of reading Scripture in community and we’ve referenced here and there how we do that. This week I’d like for us to continue that conversation and discuss the ways that our faith communities interact with Scripture on a regular basis.

At Resurrection Covenant, we use the Revised Common Lectionary and hear all four passages read each week. Typically our Psalter reading is responsive, in which the reader reads one portion aloud and the congregation responds by reading another portion aloud. This is completely different from how I grew up, in which the preacher would be the one to read the Scripture passage at the beginning of the sermon, and occasionally the worship leader might have chosen to read a Psalm between songs. I think there’s a place for that kind of Scripture use in our worship services, but I have really learned to appreciate the simplicity and rhythm of hearing four Scripture texts read out loud every Sunday without any explanation or immediate reflection. There is something powerful about hearing Scripture that way, as Cathy reflected in her recent post. During the week our community breaks into smaller groups and enters another rhythm of studying Scripture together in a more intimate setting, either in a living room or around the dinner table.

What about you all? How are you all engaging with Scripture when you gather to worship? What has been helpful and what has not? And why? What are some creative or contextualized approaches that your community has taken? What does reading and studying Scripture look like in smaller group settings?

And how are we as the ECC living out our affirmation that Scripture is central, that it is indeed a source of life for us as we seek to follow Jesus?

In the spirit of shared learning (not as a topic of right versus wrong styles of study!), please share your current preference of engaging Christ through the Word.

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