Five Travel Tips

In the dead of winter, travel south seems to be on people’s minds. And if you’ve travelled, even across the city, you’ll know that it takes some preparation if you’re going to enjoy your stay to the fullest and get the most out of it.

It’s similar as we travel into the world of Scripture. We could just parachute into a biblical text, in the middle of a book or poem or letter, and start reading. And save for the odd exception, we might get as much out of the reading as if we parachuted onto a Caribbean island without a swimsuit, sunscreen, hat, or any grasp of the language, and whether it’s safe to drink the water. It could be disappointing and potentially disastrous.

Here are five travel tips we believe are beneficial as we journey through Scripture at our Lakeside Sunday gatherings …

Tip #1:  Know where you’re going …

We can’t understand a people if we don’t inhabit their story, so we thoroughly immerse ourselves in one book at a time. The Bible is ancient, ambiguous, and  diverse, and engaging its message requires some preparation. Some helpful questions are: Who was the original audience? What was going on both at the time it happened and at the time it was recorded? What was God wanting to say to them in their circumstances?

 Tip #2:  Familiarize yourself with the place …

We can’t inhabit their story if we don’t understand the circumstances. Context matters. The Bible is an ancient text about an even more ancient time. So what was the cultural and historical climate? What outside forces (other cultures and belief systems) were influencing their understanding of God?

 Tip #3:  Know some of the language or get a translation app … 

We miss the message if we miss the meaning. When in a foreign country you might want to know how to say a few things like, “Where’s the bathroom?” If you have any young people in your life you know that not all words mean what you think they mean! This is important because God’s revelation of God’s self is embodied in language.

Tip #4:  Enlarge your worldview …

The Bible is a book of wisdom, not a book of answers. It was written to answer many of the same questions we have: What is God like? What does God want from us? Does God love us? Why, why, why? But it was written within an ancient worldview. We cannot impose our 21st century worldview back onto the text or we’ll miss God’s intent.

Tip #5:  Secure a good guide …

The Bible is a text bearing the fingerprints of God and of humanity – mirroring our humanity whilst giving us glimpses of the heart of God. While its truths transcend time and place they must be carefully excavated from both, and made subject to the revelation of God in Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit and unsettle our certainty, dismantle our assumptions, and lead us into all truth.

It’s great travelling with you, Lakeside!

Be sure to your share any insights, stunning vistas, or new perspectives with each other as we travel back to the 1st century church in Corinth together.

Robyn Elliott

Pastor of Spiritual Growth & Leadership Development, Lakeside Church

Categories: Monday Five