Ok, maybe that sounds a little pompous, but I do believe there are right ways and wrong ways to read Scripture. As was stated in this week’s “Beyond Sunday” episode (click to view), it is not enough to read the words on the page. For us to experience the “kairos moments” God has for us, we must ENGAGE.
In the video, I outline a process of scriptural engagement and discernment, and I would like to offer an example of what this looks like practically using a reading from our Gospel 90 Challenge from the past week. I will be using Matthew 20:1-16 (click to read).
Let me be clear that what I am sharing is the way in which I sense God working on me through this text. God may speak to you in a different way as you engage this text. It is both of our responsibilities to share what we are hearing from God with others as a means of accountability and an avoidance of heresy.
This is also different than how I would exegete, or unpack, the passage in preparation for a sermon. The goal in sharing this is to model the process, not to offer a teaching on this specific text.
I welcome your comments on either my reflections or on the process that I have laid out. I really do think it is the very best way to read the Bible.
What is the “kairos moment” for me in the text?
I am really captivated by the motivation of the landowner in hiring the additional workers. It doesn’t say he hires them because there is more work to do, but because he sees them standing around aimlessly. One could make the argument that he hired them out of compassion for their situation, not because there was an abundance of work to be done. Working for him would provide them with purpose and provision, and they did nothing to earn the invitation to the vineyard.
What is God saying to me through this “kairos moment?”
God is in constant pursuit of “workers” for His vineyard. He looks for those standing aimlessly, hoping for purpose and provision. He invites them in as equals with those who have been working longer, sometimes their entire lives. He bestows His blessing generously, and it is bestowed as He pleases.
This is all Good News.
How is God calling me to faithfully respond?
Do I view God’s Kingdom this way? Am I on the lookout for those without purpose or provision? Am I an instrument of invitation to God’s vineyard? Am I excited about the blessings of this vineyard? Do I want these blessings for others and am I invested in participating in the work of the vineyard?
The answer to all of these is…sometimes. Sometimes the answer is no. In these moments, I am forgetting how great that invitation has been for me. Getting back in touch with my invitation and what is now true of me as a result will serve as motivation to be an extender of invitation to others.