"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering." (Romans 12:1, MSG)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Reading Luke and Acts in 2014 - Introduction

In yesterday's sermon, I extended Bishop Carter's invitation to read Luke and Acts, one chapter per week, throughout 2014. There are 24 chapters in Luke and 28 chapters in Acts, for 52 total chapters to take us through the year ahead. We were invited to read Luke chapter 1 yesterday, then Luke chapter 2 on January 12th, Luke chapter 3 on January 19th, and so on. 

Bishop Carter's Weekly Scripture Reading 2014 can be found here. 

A downloadable reading schedule can be found here. 

And, I am not yet sure what my precise plan is for using my blog during this journey through Luke and Acts, but I will endeavor to post something weekly (as one of you suggested to me yesterday).

I'll begin today by offering some words of introduction to the gospel of Luke, found in the Wesley Study Bible (CEB), that tie well to the Bishop's intent for the reading plan.
 "When read side by side (as they were probably designed to be), Luke and Acts form our most important sources for understanding the history of earliest Christianity. The two books are held together by the theme of the plan of God. The history in these volumes relates how God acted in Jesus of Nazareth to bring peace and justice into the world and how God continued this same mission through the apostles whom Jesus chose."
Reading Luke and Acts to understand how God is even today continuing His mission to bring peace and justice into the world is indeed an important exercise for us striving to become disciples of Jesus committed to making a difference in the world. 

In Luke, we will read for ourselves the "carefully ordered account" of Jesus' life and ministry, which will hopefully lead us to ask such questions as, "Am I becoming more fully the person God made me to be? Am I following Jesus' example and becoming more like Him? How do I need to change?" 

In Acts, we will read for ourselves how, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the apostles whom Jesus chose continued His ministry, caring for each other and proclaiming the gospel to all the world. I hope their example will lead us to such questions as, "Are we, the church in the world today, becoming more fully the people of God, the unified community of believers, who God is calling us to be? Are we following the example of the first disciples in our witness to a watching world? How do we need to change?"

I am looking forward to this journey together and encourage you to make it interactive! Reply to my blogs about what speaks to you in the weekly reading. Post on Facebook. Join the conversation on Twitter using the Bishop's suggested hashtag #LukeActs 2014

Now on to Luke chapter 1.

1 comment:

  1. Aaron, good friend---

    You have done an excellent task of capturing Bishop Carter's challenge to the conference for 2014. Even if just one person followed through for the year, it would be a great spiritual victory---but many more than1 will accomplish the goal.

    Here is my companion challenge to my discussion group. Find just 2 people who will agree to work with you this year. Work diligently to teach them to find two persons each and teach them what you are teaching them. Continue to teach your pair of witnesses to read scripture, pray, and work with their two witnesses.

    Aaron, as you know, if just one person could encourage his or her pair of followers to continue the process so that each month each descendant group produced results for the next month, At the end of 12 months over8000 persons would be involved.

    I hope Bishop Carter's plan works---and mine also. I invite you personally to find just 2 individuals and only 2 to work with this year, encouraging each of them to find 2 and only 2 to work with for the coming year. Come on, Aaron. You can do that with just 2 people, can't you? Ah---let me make it difficult for you---make one of them a youth and the other an inactive member of your church! Now, that's a challenge.

    I love you.

    Larry Winebrenner