This year we will be reading the Gospel of Matthew during Lent.
Here is part one of a version read by the Riding Lights Theatre Company, produced by the Bible Society.
On Tuesday 11th April at 7pm we will meet together to read through the whole of the Gospel of Matthew.
Most people wouldn’t think twice about sitting down with others to watch a movie for 3 hours at home or at the cinema. We might also think it normal to go to a live theatre performance for an evening out. So maybe what we did in Lent last year was not so unusual really, we got together for 3 hours and read the whole of John’s Gospel in a single sitting together.
The idea started in the first of our Lent discussion groups in 2103 when somebody made the suggestion, and a few others said why don’t we try that, then we set a date and just did it. In the end 10 of us gathered from different churches, we knew it would take about 3 hours so we had cake and treats to keep us going. When each person was reading they chose the translation that they preferred to read, nobody had to read, some intended just to listen, but in the end we all did read about a chapter at a time, finishing just as the clock struck 10!
It was a great story, lots of action all the way from before Christmas to after Easter! Lots of bits were sooo familiar, but it was wonderful to see how they all fitted together because so often when we read the bible we just read 10 verses at a time. Other sections felt completely new, or sounded different in an unfamiliar translation, and this meant they had more impact. But we didn’t stop to have a bible study or a sermon, we just kept on with reading the story, when else do we get to do that? This reading wasn’t for the head, it went straight to the heart, engaging our feelings and imagination. We had plenty coffee while we were reading but we didn’t need it to keep awake because the gospel was so exciting and so much was happening.
It was an emotional experience for holy week, to read the whole life of Jesus and then to read about his death, and then about the resurrection. It was also a shared experience with the other readers which brought us together in a unique way. It was an experience that changed forever the way I read and listen to the bible. I had never done this before we moved here, it was great, I hope we can read Matthew’s gospel together this year, would you like to join in too?