Long before there was written language; people would gather together and tell stories. This oral tradition was the way the cultural histories and grand stories of faith were shared. With the invention of the printing press the era of the literate society began. But, there is still something unique, something special, about hearing the words on the page brought to life. Most of us can claim powerful childhood memories of a parent, a grandparent, a teacher, or librarian reading favorite stories aloud. As they read we could see the characters vividly in our imagination. We knew how the stories would end but it did not matter, there was simply something about hearing the stories read aloud that spoke to a different part of us. Hearing these stories read aloud helped us to remember them and integrate them into our own life story.
The same dynamic is true of Scripture. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, in partnership with Faith Comes By Hearing, has created a resource where we can hear the entirety of the New Testament in the 40 days leading to Easter. They are providing this resource free to congregations across the country. Our church has chosen to participate in this great Lenten experience. I truly believe that if the majority of our church chooses to participate, our journey toward the cross and the resurrection tomb will be transformed. The program asks just a little over 20 minutes a day; less than the time most commute to and from work or school. This process will let you hear the Gospels and experience the miracles of Jesus and hear his teaching aloud. We will hear the story of the birth of the Church in Acts and listen to its struggle to find its place in the world in the epistles. We will also hear the prophetic words of John echoing from the isle of Patmos. Each day will pull us deeper into Scripture and invite us to find our story in the midst of The Story. We began the distribution of the program disks last Sunday. More will be available this Sunday and a tech team will be there to help you find the best way for you to use the material in your way of life. You will so find the link to hear or to download the New Testament at our church website (www.fbcokc.org).
Come and join us in a journey of Lent and Listening and be ready for God to speak into your life.
Grace and Peace, Tom