2020 Bible Challenge: Weeks 7 & 8

Leviticus 8 – Numbers 8; Matthew 26 – Mark 4

Friends,

When you do your next reading, I encourage you to thumb through all the pages that you have already covered. I promise you that the sense of instant gratification is a powerful thing. Celebrate your commitment, be grateful for all the time you have devoted to deepening and broadening of your faith!

We are right now a little over half-way through Leviticus. Some days are more interesting than others, I admit. We are reading ancient law that was grounded in patriarchy, slavery, animal sacrifice as means of redemption and worship, etc. Our life is very different today, so reading Leviticus reminds me that the Bible was written first and foremost for ancient Jewish society, not FUMC Fort Worth in 2020. That is why, for example, I find Leviticus 13 inhumane and not applicable to us today. Leviticus 15 is quite baffling – do you really need an entire chapter about that? Use your imagination and picture the life in the early Jewish community that was shaped and governed by these laws.

I really like how my CEB Wesley Study Bible suggests that a better name for a Book of Numbers is “Rebellions.” After receiving the law, Jewish caravan follows God and travels through the dessert. It’s hard to blame people who get cranky and frustrated every now and then along this trip. The first five books of the Bible were written in the form we have them today centuries after the events that they describe, and it is very useful to keep that in mind as you do your daily readings. All of you who attend the Gathering may recognize the words in Numbers 6:24-26 (hint: Lance uses them in his benediction).

As you finish Matthew and start Mark, I want you to notice how the tone of each gospel is different. And there is no baby Jesus story in Mark, he gets straight to action.

I pray that reading the Bible daily enriches your soul and keeps your relationship with God at the forefront of everything else you do during the day. I also hope that this daily practice encourages you to pray on a regular basis and attend to your spiritual wellbeing more closely.

Sundays: March 8, April 5, May 3, June 7, July 12, August 2, September 6, October 4, November 1, December 27, 2020
Room 350 | 8:00 – 9:00 am | Childcare provided
Mondays: (no meeting in March), April 6, May 4, June 8, July 6, September 14, October 5, November 2, 2020
1:30 – 2:30 pm | Room 154 | Childcare available upon request

God bless,

Dr. Zhenya Gurina-Rodriguez
Associate Pastor of Grace Groups & Discipleship

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