Start with an icebreaker question like: What was your favorite book you read as a child?
In the book, “Truth Is Stranger Than It Used to Be: Biblical Faith in a Postmodern World,” the authors asks five questions that every worldview attempts to answer.
- ● Setting: Where are we? What is real in the world where we find ourselves?
- ● Characters: Who are we? What is the nature and purpose of human beings?
- ● Conflict: What’s wrong? How do we account for evil and pain?
- ● Resolution: What’s the solution? What’s the hope for a better future?
- ● Narrative Time: What time is it? Where in the storyline is the reader located?
- Throughout your life, what narratives have you drawn upon to answer these questions? What about your larger community?
- Is gathering in a synagogue, church, or Bible study to hear the story of Scripture the same as people gathering to watch a play or a film? What’s similar? What’s different?
- Read Deuteronomy 5:15. Notice that part of the fourth commandment is simply to remember what God has done. Does breaking this commandment cause us to break the others as well? Why or why not?
- After the time of Joshua comes an era of Judges in Israel’s history. Read Judges 2:6-23 which introduces a brand new generation in verse ten. Keep flipping through your Bible and discuss other periods where Israel forgot their identity. Imagine ways the story could have been different if Israel was faithful in publicly reading Scripture.
- Paul says believers are “living epistles” (2 Corinthians 3:2).
How is sharing the good news of Jesus similar or different to publicly reading Scripture? How was your identity transformed when you heard the gospel story?
- Jesus is the Word, the very incarnation and fulfillment of the Scriptures living within us. How does our life in Christ transform our understanding of the Bible? Check out 2 Corinthians 3:14 and John 5:39-40 for talking points.
Read and Discuss
There are many benefits to reading the Bible aloud with your community. When we read a whole section of Scripture at once, we can better understand the overarching message. Another benefit is that hearing engages our thoughts, memory, and attention in a different way than reading does. As modern Christians, we tend to focus on individual reflection, but reading the Bible in community gives us the opportunity to observe and apply the truth of Scripture more than we could on our own. It can also provide motivation for deeper study, insight, and structure. So this week, we hope you will enjoy the benefits of reading the Bible aloud with others. Let’s practice with this exercise today.
- Choose one selection below to read out loud.
- Psalm 24, 47, and 103. (1-2 minutes for each psalm)
- Ephesians (20-25 minutes)
- Ruth (15-20 minutes)
- John 14-17 (15-20 minutes)
- James (15-20 minutes)
Debrief your experience.
- ● What idea did you choose to help you focus your attention?
- ● What was enjoyable? What was difficult? What surprised you?
- ● What did you learn or notice as you listened to the passage?
- ● What’s another way you can practice reading aloud in community this week?