As part of our Lenten preparations for 2014 MCC invites you to join us for an 16 week journey through the Old Testament. You’ll find most of the details you will need below but please feel free to contact us if you would like any further information. More details will come available in January.
Why we need a better Bible experience
These days we have more Bibles than ever. And more ways to access Scripture. We can pull it up on our smartphones or have it delivered to our inboxes. We can choose from an endless array of Bibles in just about any bookstore. Yet people are reading the Bible less than they did a generation ago. We’re hungry to hear God speak, but somehow the message isn’t getting through. How did we lose our way? We’d like to suggest three possibilities!.!.!.
1. Too often we read in fragments.
From verse-of-the-day emails to topical reference Bibles, we’ve packaged Scripture for a sound-bite culture. Most of us read a verse here or a chapter there—but almost never the whole story. Is this really how we’re meant to experience the Bible? God’s Word is, first and foremost, a story— one that was designed to be engaged in its entirety. No one watches only a few scenes from their favourite movie—out of order, no less. Yet this is exactly how many of us engage Scripture.
2. Too often we read without context.
We all know the Bible is an ancient collection of books written by ancient scribes who spoke foreign languages. It’s the product of a culture vastly different from our own. Try as we might to connect the Bible to our world today, sometimes we just can’t bridge the gap. And if we can’t make sense of it, we’re more far likely to put it down in frustration.
3. Too often we read in isolation.
We’ve turned Bible reading into a private discipline—something that begins and ends with “me.”
Personal Bible study is a wonderful thing. But it’s not the only thing. Did you ever notice how often the Bible addresses a group of people, rather than individuals? From the Old Testament law to the letters of Paul, Scripture was originally meant to be experienced in community.
What the Community Bible Experience is about
In a nutshell the Community Bible Experience is an opportunity for us to address some of these deficiencies in our reading and understanding of scripture. The idea is that as part of our preparations for Easter 2014 we will join together in an 16 week journey through the first section of the Old Testament following the plan devised by the good folks at Biblica. (This follows on from our journey through the New Testament in 2013) A special version of the Old Testament will be available from the office and the weekly reading plans will be provided below in downloadable PDFs. For the more technically minded of us, various other formats will also be available on the Biblica website (www.biblicaeurope.com).
As well as working through the Old Testament for ourselves, our hope is that you will join us (in one of our home groups) to discuss what we have been reading and to share some the questions, insights and learning that comes our way together. This is exacty what those in the early church did as they met in each others’ homes so long ago.
So why not join us and experience God’s word in a new way as we come to remember and celebrate once more the glory of that first Easter Season?
You can see last year’s Home Group Guide by clicking the graphic below. It will give you a basic idea of what we will be doing in 2014.