Weekly Reflection -10/5/2023
St. Mary's Reflection: The Rev. Kira Austin-Young
Read, Mark, Learn, and Inwardly Digest: Studying the Bible Together
As part of my ordination to the priesthood, I declared that I believe “the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation.” Generally speaking, Episcopalians are not known for our Biblical knowledge. The joke is that an Episcopalian reading the Bible is liable to think, “There’s a lot of the Book of Common Prayer in here!” when, of course, it is the other way around. On the other hand, people from other Christian traditions are often surprised by how much Scripture is in our Sunday worship services - up to four separate readings.
I unapologetically love the Bible, and the more I read and study it, the more that love for it grows. I am constantly amazed how stories written thousands of years ago are still relevant to my life today. When I pray the Daily Office each morning, I realize more connections between the Old and New Testaments and hear things in different ways. While we believe that God reveals God’s self in all kinds of places and ways, one of the most important is through the Bible. The Bible tells us the story, across place and time, of God’s revelation to and through creation, and ultimately through our Savior Jesus Christ.
God also reveals God’s self to us through community, and when we study the Bible together, we open ourselves up to how the Holy Spirit is moving right here and now. It is with this hope that I invite you to join me for our Lectionary Bible Study in the library on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. I trust that it will increase your spiritual engagement on Sunday mornings and knit us ever-deeper into Christian community. My hope for this time together is that I will not be wearing the hat of “professional Christian expert” but will be simply another person seeking to discern God’s will in my life and learning with and alongside those gathered. I hope to see you Wednesdays!
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect for Proper 28)
The Rev. Kira Austin-Young