Week One

A Strange New World • How to Read the Bible

Before we jump in to the Old Testament and our devotional book, Invitation, we think it’s important to spend a week taking a step back and seeing God’s whole story from a bird’s eye view. When reading the Old Testament, it can be easy to get wrapped up in details of history or laws rather than seeing how each of those aspects play a role in furthering God’s story unfolding on earth. The writers (and more importantly, the hearers) of the Old Testament writings thought very different than our very western, very scientific, very to-the-point thinking. For that reason it’s important to get into the mindset of an early Jewish listener and learn to read the scripture literarily…and not necessarily literally. The Old Testament is a rich tapestry of narratives, poetry, characters, prophecy, and instruction… all pointing to the singular story that guides us to live as the people whom God created us to be! It’s our prayer that through this sermon series (and these tools to grow beyond the weekend), you’ll learn to adopt the Old Testament as OUR SHARED FAMILY STORY, seeing ourselves in the characters, and learning to see where God’s Kingdom is headed through the lens of where we’ve come from.


This week we HIGHLY recommend that you watch through the Bible Project’s “How to Read the Bible” series. There are 20 videos in the series, which might be too much for the week; but the first 5 in the series will be super helpful to you as you jump into the Old Testament. Since there’s not much reading in the Invitation this week, this is a GREAT way to spend all your extra time!

If you’re limited on time, here are the two that we think are the MOST helpful.

GOT MORE TIME? Watch the whole “How to Read the Bible” Series


In the “Invitation” Book, read:

• the Preface
• the Introduction.


• What is your personal history with the Bible? Did you grow up reading it on your own, being taught it by someone else, or have you been mostly unfamiliar with it?

• Which of these statements resonates with you and your view of scripture the most? Why? There’s no wrong answer here. 🙂

The Bible is God’s love letter to us (me).
The Bible is an “answer book”.
The Bible is God’s instruction manual, showing us how to live.
The Bible is a historical document, chronicling the events of God’s people.
The Bible is a collection of a bunch of books written by a bunch of people that fits together kind of messily, or randomly.
The Bible was written by God Himself.
The Bible is confusing.

• What story primarily shapes your life? (Don’t just say “the Bible” because you think it’s the right answer 🙂 )

• What is your story? Briefly share or write out the story of how you came to faith in Jesus? How has your story intersected with the grand tapestry of God’s story?