We find ourselves isolated from gathering together for an undetermined amount of time. How will this affect our community?
We say we believe in the bible. We hold orthodox theology. We resist the temptation to water it down or change it for the culture around us. We might even try to live by what it says, read it regularly, and learn more about it. But do we really believe in the Bible? What if believing in the Bible is more than just thinking that it’s true? What if believing in the Bible means that we trust that it has a power to work in us and in other people?
If you are like me, you were likely caught off guard by how quickly our lives were disrupted by the response to the coronavirus. Within a week we went from watching about it on the news to living in something like quarantine. I keep going back to this passage from Colin Marshall and Tony Payne’s book “The Trellis and The Vine,” one of the most influential books in how I think about ministry and the church.
We find ourselves isolated from gathering together for an undetermined amount of time. How will this affect our community? Will we loose connection? Grow distant? Become more isolated? Or will we come out stronger on the other end? What if, instead of hunkering down in our bunkers, we took this opportunity to read the bible and pray with one another? What if we believed in the Bible not just as a document of true statements, but as a living and active word that changes lives.
I’ve not found anything more impactful in all my time of ministry than simply opening up the bible. The Swedish Bible Study Method is one of the easiest and most fruitful ways I’ve found to get into the text of the bible and apply it in life. You can use this at home with your spouse or children, one on one with a friend who hasn’t become a Christian yet, or with another believer in the church. What would it look like if each of us chose one or two people to meet with (or video chat with) just to read the bible and to pray?
Marshall and Payne close their book with this: