We must take care how we read … whether it’s a news report, or a blog, or the scriptures.
Before I go back into Mark’s Gospel, I remind myself that it is important how I read these words. I come to these words believing that they speak with authority. I pray that through God’s Spirit, the words of the scriptures will shape my life.
When we come with our agenda to much to the fore, it can easily distort, or obscure what the scriptures are saying to us. We can easily then make the scripture say just what we want it to. For example, christians have often made the mistake of reading the scriptures asking only what it says to me as an individual, about salvation for example. The result is a very individualised form of religion that in the end is human centred, and not God centred, and is only concerned with whether we go to heaven or not.
I am trying to read Mark’s Gospel with issues of injustice, oppression etc in mind. And that’s fine. We can’t read the Bible in a vacuum. But I must be careful to let God’s word speak to me on its own terms, and not on mine.
I use this prayer a lot, because it makes God the centre of action in shaping our lives and our worship.
Faithful One, whose word is life, come to free our praise, inspire our prayers and shape our lives, according to the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(From Common Worship in the Church of England)