The US-based Episcopal Church’s Forward Movement is inviting Episcopalians to study the Gospel of Luke during Lent and the Acts of the Apostles over Eastertide, through a series of daily readings. “We love sequels, and Luke-Acts provides a wonderful two-part narrative,” the ministry says on its Good Book Club website. The Forward Movement grew out of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention in 1934 and has been producing a range of resources since then “to encourage spiritual growth in individuals and congregations.” This year’s Lent invitation to study Luke and Acts begins on Sunday 11 February. Participants will read a section of Luke’s Gospel every day during Lent, before moving on to Acts at Easter.
“People who read scripture with an open heart grow in faith through their encounter with the sacred stories of the Bible,” the Forward Movement say on their Good Book Club website. “We know this to be true in our personal experiences – and we have research to back it up. RenewalWorks, a Forward Movement research-based initiative, has data from nearly half a million participants that identify scripture engagement as a key catalyst for spiritual vitality in congregations and for individuals.
“In other words, if you want to grow and strengthen your faith, reading scripture is the perfect exercise.”
They continue: “Luke tells the wondrous story of Jesus’ birth, ministry, teaching, death, and resurrection. Acts picks up where Luke leaves off and tells the story of the earliest disciples through the lens of Peter and Paul and the real star of the show – the Holy Spirit. Written by the same author, the books are accessible, and the story is a page-turner!”
At its simplest, participants will read a few verses of Luke and Acts each day – each book has been divided into 50 segments. Those who want to do more, can take part in the Forward Movement’s Bible Challenge series, A Journey with Luke and A Journey through Acts, which contains theological reflections written by faith leaders from around the world. There is also a downloadable discussion guide for groups.
The readings are also available as a printable pdf.