Saturday, March 21, 2009
Public Reading of the Scriptures
9 So Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 And Moses commanded them, saying: “At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully observe all the words of this law, 13 and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land which you cross the Jordan to possess.” (Deuteronomy 31:9-13)
On thing that I really appreciate about the Anglican Church that I am currently attending is that every week there is a systematic public reading of the Scriptures. We have read to us a portion from the Old testament, a potion from the New Testament, a portion from the Gospels, and there is a responsive reading of a portion from the Psalms. Even if the preaching is woeful, the song choice is pitiful, the Word of God is able to speak to the people of God. This is an aspect that is missing from many of the contemporary denominations that do not follow a liturgical form of service. When the Gospel portion is being read, we stand as a sign of respect.
I have often thought that we need a public reading of the whole Bible; a Bible read-a-thon, as it were, where the people on the street could have an opportunity to hear the Word of the Lord. There should be no commentary, just simply a tag team reading aloud the Scriptures, in a public place. In Alice Springs the Scriptures could be read in several Aboriginal languages, as well as English. There are Chronological Bibles available, and that would be a wonderful systematic way of going from start to finish. There would need to be a team. One person could read for say, half an hour, and then the next person simply takes over from where the previous person leaves off, and so on, until the whole Bible has been read in public.
I think I will pray about this idea, and start talking to people about it.