Hello Grace Redeemer!
Since we’re less than a week away from our public reading of Scripture, I’d like to clarify a Lenten preparation email that I wrote on March 5th in the hopes that it will answer any remaining questions you may still have.
Next Wed, April 10th, at 5am in the sanctuary, we’ll begin a unique effort to read the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, for as many consecutive hours as we can get people to sign up for. Let me reverse my original message and start with the details, and then follow up with the rationale for this effort.
- The best estimate is that this will take 72 hours of consecutive reading. If enough people sign-up, we hope to finish the morning of Sat April 13th.
- At the bottom of this email (and every Lenten devotional email), there are links for each of the 4 days which take you to forms which show you which slots are still available. We’re aiming to have 3 people for each slot in order to support the “public” nature of the reading AND because reading out loud is more tiring than you’d think! The reading will be video-livestreamed so that at any point during the 72 hours, others can log on and participate. When the social media links go live, we encourage you to share widely with friends and family!
- Each group of readers will take turns reading for their hour-slot. There will be no reading assignments. Each reader will stand in the pulpit, announce the book and chapter, read that chapter, and then keep going until they tire, step aside, and allow one their “teammates” to take a turn. Some of you may be willing to sign up for 2 consecutive hours, and rotate reading for that stretch.
- We need all hands on deck! Elementary-age children are welcome to participate with at least one parent present. Perhaps some of you with little ones would be willing to sign up for a couple of hours with a team of 4-6, and rotate reading and watching your kids?
So, why are we doing this? In Paul’s first letter to his protégé, Timothy, he gives this instruction: “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.” (1 Timothy 4:13). While this is likely related to the worship gathering of a local church, we thought this would be a unique way to elevate the priority you give to the reading, study, and memorization of the Word of God!
- Rather than repeat what I shared earlier, let me urge you to check out this link to a really well-done video explaining the Biblical roots of public reading of the Scriptures. Parents, watch it with your kids!
On a related note, a reminder about upcoming special services. Grab a few Passion Week cards as a reminder and as an invitation to friends who do not typically go to church!
- On Maundy Thursday, April 18th, we’ll gather as a church family for a meal and a communion service. Both will occur around tables in the Fellowship Hall. Join us at 7pm for this special evening, and if you’re able, bring a side dish (A-N last name) or a dessert (O-Z last name) to share. Sign up for a dish or dessert here.
- On Good Friday, April 19th, we’ll gather at 4:30pm for our Tenebrae Candle service, one of our most unique services of the year. If your job/company is open that day, I encourage you to tell your boss (as your observant Jewish co-workers do every Friday) that it’s a special day of worship.
Grace be with you,
Peter Wang is our Senior Pastor.