The other day I talked about reading the Bible together. I thought I’d offer some places to start.
Ask a group of four other people to read Ruth with you, meeting once a week for six weeks. Eat supper first. Talk about your week. Then read Ruth out loud. Talk about how her life reflects difficulties people you know are facing: immigration, widowhood, in-laws, physical danger for women.
Write down all the things that you don’t understand:
- What’s the writer referring to?
- When is this being written?
- What does that mean?
Take a week. Spend the week looking for answers. The next week, come back and read the whole book out loud again. What answers have people found in their living this week? What answers have people found in their digging in Scripture during the week? What have people found in conversations with people? What answers have come from meditating on the text? Do it again for another week. (This means reading the whole book six times.)
Letters to young churches.
In the early part of the book of Revelation (chapters 2-3), there are messages for seven churches. With six other friends, divide up the messages. Use a study bible or wikipedia or whatever resource you can find to learn about the city, the culture, the church. Then spend a couple hours some Friday night over dinner reading the messages and sharing what you learned.
Read the book of Job out loud. Break it into sections. Figure out a little staging with narrator, Job, wife, friends, and God. Read every section in the staging. When reading the messages of the friends, use a tone of voice that you think best captures the speaker. After each section, talk about why the speakers’ words might not be comforting.
You can read through the sermon on the mount in a reflective way in Learning a New Routine: Reading the Sermon on the Mount a Little Bit at a Time.