For the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to decide on a topic to teach for our church’s adult Sunday school. Keith Eichel asked if I’d be interested in taking some of the sessions, so I was given the month of January, and plenty of room in terms of topics and style. For a long time I was pretty sure I was going to do something on Christian spiritual disciplines. I started working on it back in October or November and had had a few pages written up. But plans change. Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline describes twelve practices through which we connect with God and one another in the Christian life: meditation, prayer, fasting and study are the Inward Disciplines. Simplicity, solitude, submission and service make up the outward disciplines. Confession, worship, guidance and celebration are corporate disciplines—practices which we participate in together as the body of Christ. With only four sessions to speak, I couldn’t possibly do them all justice. I thought of pairing some together, or simply picking four, but it simply wasn’t working. It's an excellent book, and would make a really good small group study. Maybe some other time.
Thankfully, there was something else in store.
I was working on study as a discipline, and then reading in the broader sense. How do we nurture our minds? Do we know how to do this? How do we read well? How important is that to cultivating a wholistic and healthy faith? That sent me into Fee & Stuart’s book, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, a text from my freshmen class, Biblical Foundations I. Within a few pages of reading I knew I needed to focus here: on how to read the Bible well.
So I’ve been working a lot on that, and really enjoying it. I wrote the first session and I’m just in the middle of editing the second. The third and fourth are still to be determined. But it’s a good start, and I’m thankful to have settled on something. For me that’s usually the hardest part.
Merry Christmas, dear reader!