Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Retreat Reflections

Last weekend I spent a couple days up in the middle of nowhere with my fellow singles from PV.  Our goal during this retreat was to immerse ourselves in scripture, and let God speak to us through His word.  Around the clock for 36 hours (with the exception of 3 different worship hours together), we read scripture aloud.  

Not all of us the entire time, mind you.  That would just be crazy.  

But we did sign up in pairs for hour long shifts.  I had 3 different shifts; we had 3 group readings as well.  In addition to these, I also listened in/helped read on at least part of about 4 additional shifts that were not mine.

From all of those time slots, these are the scriptures I was exposed to:
-The beginning & end of Genesis
-A few chapters from the middle of Matthew
-Portions of 1 & 2 Samuel
-Most of Ecclesiastes
-The first several chapters of Job
-Half of Luke and the first few chapters of Acts
-All of 1 Corinthians
-The first half of 2 Corinthians (Sun night at life group)

In my spare time, when I wasn't enjoying the gorgeous weather, learning a new dice game, or catching up on sleep, I spent some time flipping through my brother Scott's precious Bible.  (While I usually go thru it pretty quickly, I do flip page by page and spend enough time to read each of the verses that are underlined/highlighted, and any comments written in the margins.)  With that, I read several verses between Proverbs and the beginning of Acts.

And when I wasn't doing that, in my spare spare time, I was going through Hebrews...my favorite book of scripture for some time now, but one that I honestly hadn't sat down with in a very long time.  Made it just over halfway through there, and have been working on finishing it since.  Tonight I was going through chapter 11 and had to stop and spend a few minutes taking it in.  

I would tell people Hebrews is my favorite cause, for me, it's the book that makes the whole rest of the Bible make sense.  I think of the stories I read last weekend, from Adam to Noah, Joseph, Saul, David, Job, words from Solomon. (I also picture my brother Jackson powering thru the last half of Exodus, with the description of the tabernacle, the priestly garments, etc).  

And I remember the words I heard from Matthew, Luke, and Acts, telling the story of Jesus.  And sometimes the pages of scripture are so diverse that they can seem disconnected.  Seriously.  What does Joseph or the tabernacle have to do with the widow's mite?

But then I read Hebrews, which to me screams, "That's what this is all about!!!  All of these OT stories point to Him.  And He's better. A better priest. A better sacrifice. A better covenant. Better promises."

And it makes me thankful for 2 things:  
-For the fact that we are, in fact, recipients of better promises and a better covenant.
-For the examples/stories of those who have gone on before.  It's all of these seemingly disconnected OT stories of broken people whose faith in the Lord was pleasing to Him, and He calls me to the same, and now it's my turn to be a part of this story that's not disconnected at all really, but that, each piece of it, in its own way, points to the God who saves.

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