We took a break from discussing any new disciplines today so that we could have a more informal “debriefing” about what we’ve covered so far. These disciplines can feel like a lot to practice, especially when we’re learning about a new one each week, and in the midst of the demands of school and family.
We decided that reading and memorizing Scripture would probably be easier if it was something we did as a group rather than alone. We chose Exodus 34:6 as a good verse to begin memorizing, as this is a key verse about God’s character, and it is the most-quoted verse within the books of the Old Testament (many other OT authors quote this verse from Exodus). The verse reads, “The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” It’s so important that we always remember that this is who God is!
We also talked about how it could be helpful to have a Bible reading plan that we are working through together, since it can be hard to tackle the entire Bible or to know where to jump in. I made up a little reading plan to go through the Gospel of Luke during the month of May (Parents are welcome to join in too!). We will read a chapter a day, but Sundays and the last few days of the month are built in catch-up days because it helps to have some buffers in case a day is missed here and there.
Finally, we spent some time discussing how we would explain to others why we believe that God is even real. There are a lot of different answers here, encompassing both experience and philosophy. One reason given is that the world seems far too complex to just happen accidentally. It makes far more sense that there was an infinite and eternal creator (God) who made everything for a specific purpose than that somehow it all just exists for no reason at all. From here, we must acknowledge that while there are many religions claiming that their deity is responsible for creation and that their sacred writings are true, the Bible and the God of the Bible seem to be set apart. Most (or all) other religions demand that people be good enough to enter the presence of that deity after death, but the Bible says that God instead took on our flesh and entered our presence to make a way for us to come to him. This, among other reasons, points us to Christianity as the true and right way to the God who created everything. Another reason is that we have seen prayers answered and experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit.
These disciplines can be hard to commit to, and sometimes confusing about how to do them. But the main point is that they are practices that help us grow in our understanding of who God is, in our love for him and dependance upon him, and in our love for other people. They are tough, but they are absolutely worth the effort as we walk together towards becoming like Christ!