Thursday, January 14, 2016

More Tips for the Journey with Luke

Today is day 4 of our journey with Luke! If you are reading along in the companion book, you will notice that the daily meditations are written by various leaders from around the Episcopal church. Our own Bishop Dabney Smith authored two of these meditations, which will appear later in the study. This diversity of voices is very helpful, because it reminds us that the study of the Bible is requires a diversity of perspectives. Here is a list of a few of the perspectives that we will encounter as continue our journey with Luke!

The Devotional Perspective
What does this mean to me?
When we read scripture from a devotional perspective we are primarily reading for our own spiritual development and nourishment. We are asking "what does this passage mean to me?" or "how does this reading affect my daily life?" Devotional reading is an important part of our ongoing journey of spiritual growth and transformation. However, there are other perspectives that we need to consider. 

The Historical Perspective 
What did this mean in the past?
Several of our daily reflections draw upon historical information and focus upon the historical context of the passage. This is a very important perspective to hold in our view as we are reading the Bible. In fact, most biblical scholars would argue that it is essential to first understand what the biblical text meant in its historical context and only then attempt to apply that biblical text to our contemporary context.

The Liturgical Perspective 
What does this mean for the worship of the church?
Our worship and liturgy are heavily dependent on the Bible (which is a good thing!). This means that many of our prayers, hymns, and creeds are drawn from the words of Holy Scripture. In the first two chapters of Luke, we find two of the most famous canticles - the Benedictus (a.k.a. Song of Zechariah) and the Magnificat (a.k.a. Song of Mary). These two "songs" have been used in Christian worship since the earliest days of the church.

The Social-Justice Perspective 
What does this mean for the world?
A final perspective to consider is the social-justice perspective. As I mentioned in my blog post on the  central themes in Luke's gospel, there is a lot of talk about wealth, possessions, and justice. Luke wants us to think about the ways in which the ministry of Jesus challenges us to create a world that is more just and equitable for all people. So, as we are reading, think about how these texts speak to the wider issues of justice and peace in the world. 

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