Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Scriptures in A Year

After an extended break we are back to the Book. Today begins a journey of reading through the Scriptures in a year. If you are interested in following along but do not have the reading plan email me and I will send it to you, revabouwens@verizon.net. Each day there are 4 readings, two New Testament and two Old Testament. I pray you will gain understanding in the journey, and hear the voice of God leading you to the next faithful step.

Luke 1:1-25
Here we have the opening of Luke's gospel with a brief explanation of why he is writing it. There is an acknowledgement that others have done as he is doing, set down an orderly account of the events of Jesus. Luke intends for a careful examination of the events and to write the ones which will reveal the truth of Christ.

The first account of Luke is the announcement of John the Baptists birth. We learn much about John and who he is called to be in these few short verses. We also learn about the faith of his parents, as they follow after God as well. Jumping off the page are the words that John will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. It is easy to miss the controversy of this statement. Before the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was a temporary thing. Meaning the Spirit did not reside as much as it visited people. For John the Holy Spirit would fill him, or live within him. This was unheard of in his day. Yet his parents praise God in anticipation of what God is doing through them and their son.

Ephesians 1:1-14
Paul opens his letter to the church in Ephesus in a very classic form of a letting the first century. There is a greeting and a recounting of the blessing we have in God. This short letter is grounded in the understanding that we are not merely connected with Christ, or do we simply know who he is, rather that our whole relationship to God has been altered because of Christ. We have gain an inheritance greater than our understanding. This is more than a friendship, an inheritance is not given to friends, rather to children. We have been adopted by God through Jesus Christ.

This adoption is not for our glory, rather it is to the glory of God. As adopted children we are called to live as children of God, not as we did before our adoption. The remainder of the book will highlight what it means to live as a child of God.

Psalm 119:1-8
Psalm 119 is the longest of the Psalms totaling 176 verses. In these opening verses we find the foundation of a life which is pleasing to God. In the NRSV translation the word used is 'happy', the NIV uses the word blessed. I prefer the word blessed here not because it is a better translation, rather because we understand the two words so differently that blessed conveys understanding better. To many happy is about how we are feeling this moment. Blessed is about our relationship with God regardless of how we are feeling at the moment. Blessed are those who follow after God, what God teaches, where God leads us. When we follow what God shows us through the scriptures we live a blessed life.

1 Kings 1
Out of the pages of scripture on to the screens of a modern political debate. As I read the words of 1 Kings it is clear these could be written today. Sure the names are different but the situation has not changed all that much. King David is dying and all those around know it. The power grab is on, and everyone is trying sure up their alliance. Sounds kind of like Survivor. Adonijah claims he is King and gathers followers, while others protect their interests reminding David of his promise to make Solomon King. Interesting that Solomon never shows up until he is ordained King, others come on his behalf. The drama plays out complete with victory celebrations and fear and trembling. In the end Solomon is names King, and all is well as long as everyone plays along. We shall see how all the drama plays out in the coming chapters.

This completes today's readings. In all our efforts we must keep the same question in front of us, "What is God speaking to me through these words?"

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