Redeeming the Story

As people who claim freedom in Christ and the goodness of God abounding in the ordinary, we still often find it difficult to approach the Bible. While scripture has always had an authoritative and formative role in the life of God’s people, we’ve also seen how it has been used to bind, wound, and separate people. We might admit it’s been viewed as part of the Trinity itself. Something is off. We are unsure what to do with difficult texts that don’t align with our understanding and experience of God and the promise for the reconciliation of all creation. Rather than allowing the Spirit to inspire us through scripture, we find it tempting to just set the Bible aside. As we consider our own place in the unfolding story of God, we can quickly find ourselves wandering and wondering. We long to discover something more than mere rules. We long to connect with the story filled with beauty, wisdom, and redemption as we learn who we are called to be as followers of Jesus who participate in what God is doing here and now. Together, we are on a journey to explore the story, consider what the Bible is, re-learn how to approach scripture, retell lost and unfamiliar stories of redemption, and consider how to remember rightly in a violent world. 

Week by week

September 8: Learning to Enter into the Story (Exodus 2 and 3)

September 16: Making Sense of the Bible (Genesis 11 and Acts 2)

September 23: Sacred, Christ-Centered Reading (Jonah)

September 29: Reading Like Lovers (Luke 15.11-32)

October 6: Story Redeemed - A Servant Girl Intervenes (2 Kings 5)

October 13: Story Redeemed - Mary (survey of the gospels)

October 20: Story Redeemed - Delilah (Judges 16)

October 27: Story Redeemed - guest

November 3: God Can’t (Joshua 2 and Matthew 1)

November 10: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World (Exodus 1)

November 17: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World (Luke 19.1-10)

November 24 - Brunch

Discussion Prompts

Name and reflect on your current posture toward the Bible. How or has it changed over time? What questions stir that keep you from encountering God in scripture? 

What are your (and our Trinity community’s) current wanderings and wonderings? Write them down. Talk to someone who can hold your story with care and together begin to explore where the Spirit is leading you toward redeeming the story. 

What violence or trauma have you/we experienced that needs to be re-membered (rightly remembered to bring about redemption) and redeemed? How might Christ meet you/us in the midst of the deepest, darkest pain. Pray or journal about it, expectant of hope.

Take some time this week to dig into a familiar biblical story, read it several times, prayerfully asking God to speak in new ways, uncovering goodness lost in the midst of violence. How is God redeeming the story?


Resources

*The following is a suggested list of books and music and per usual, there’s a wide variety of thought and content (some will be challenging, some you may not agree with) that is meant to spur conversation and continued growth.

Books:

Fire of the Word by Chris Webb

Making Sense of the Bible by Adam Hamilton

God Can’t by Thomas J. Oord (podcast synopsis)

The End of Memory by Miroslav Volf

Music:

High as Hope - Florence + the Machine (some explicit lyrics)

Amidst the Chaos - Sarah Bareilles

All is Not Lost - The Brilliance

May You Find the Light - The Brilliance

Video Series:

How to Read the Bible

Some of our favorites:

Real Good Things by Newsboys

Lie Down in the Grass by Charlie Peacock

Rabbi Sharon Brous Ted Talk

This American Life: Mr. Rothbart’s Neighborhood