Matt Valler's picture

A time for everything

Dear friends,

There is a time for everything under the sun, and Community of Readers' time has come to an end. Today's content is the last that we will post - and The MonkeyBar Challenge will wrap up at the end of 2011. We'll keep this website live for a few months yet so you can still access the content, but our Facebook and Twitter streams will go quiet and there'll be no new material.

I want to thank you all so much for being part of this thoughtful playground. It's been a real privilege to share our reading journeys together, to delve deep into the Bible's unpredictable terrain, and to imagine, to reflect, to disagree, and to inspire each other all in pursuit of real faith in the Jesus revealed through this unparalleled story.

This is the end for Community of Readers but stay connected - it won't be too long before we cook up another Bible adventure to take together. We'll be sure to let you know as soon as that happens.

But for now, may the love of the great narrator be your guide.

Warmest blessings,

Matt
24th Dec 2011


Matt Valler's picture

Apocalypse now

The Revelation of Jesus Christ to John on the Island of Patmos is one of the most untameable texts of the church’s history. As a work to which fantasy fiction will forever aspire, this colourful array of horses, dragons, many-eyed beasts and angelic destroyers has birthed interpretations more ludicrous than our wildest delusions and more powerful than our mightiest weapons.

As a child my Christianity was influenced by the American Right and I grew up with (serious) suggestions that former Soviet President Gorbachev’s famous birthmark could be the mark of the beast, that the UN was the emerging beast of global government, and that it was only a matter of time before we would be required to be marked with barcodes (either as tattoos or inserted chips – the theories were diverse) or face starvation at the hands of the dragon’s all-pervasive empire. It wasn’t until many years later that I realised I’d been party to a special kind of political lobbying. Small-government, anti-Communist, go-it-alone America saw in John’s Apocalypse the very end of the world they most desperately feared and their appeal to biblical authority gave it power.


Community of Readers's picture

Episode #52: The future we build

In the final instalment of this epic journey through the Old Testament we are brought right down to earth and the story of one man against the odds. Nehemiah is an inspiring tale of dogged perseverance, but his life is caught up in dreams far beyond his own. What do we get left with once the story is over? And how do we make sense of its message in our world?


Monkey's picture

The MonkeyBar Challenge Week 52

Hi everyone,

We've done it! This is the final week's readings for the final rung of The MonkeyBar Challenge 2011! What an amazing adventure. Just eight final days and you'll be there!!

24 Dec: Neh 1:1 – 2:20; Psalm 147:1 – 11; Rev 16:1 – 16:21
25 Dec: Neh 3:1 – 4:23; Psalm 147:12 – 20; Rev 17:1 – 17:18
26 Dec: Neh 5:1 – 7:3; Proverbs 31:10 – 20; Rev 18:1 – 18:17a
27 Dec: Neh 7:4 – 8:18; Psalm 148:1 – 6; Rev 18:17b – 19:10
28 Dec: Neh 9:1 – 9:37; Psalm 148:7 – 14; Rev 19:11 – 19:21
29 Dec: Neh 9:38 – 11:21; Psalm 149:1 – 9; Rev 20:1 – 20:15
30 Dec: Neh 11:22 – 12:47; Proverbs 31:21 – 31; Rev 21:1 – 21:27
31 Dec: Neh 13:1 – 13:31; Psalm 150:1 – 6; Rev 22:1 – 22:21

Enjoy!
Monkey


Community of Readers's picture

Episode #51: Paranoid religion

With Ezra we finally return to the storyline and relive, in explicit priestly detail, the Return from Exile in Babylon and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. But the values of Israelite faith are under threat. How will their leaders respond? And how will we take stock of our stories?


Monkey's picture

The MonkeyBar Challenge Week 51

Hi everyone!

This is the penultimate week!! I can't believe we're nearly there. Time to gear up for a sprint-finish!

17 Dec: Ezra 1:1 – 2:67; Psalm 144:9 – 15; Rev 8:1 – 9:12
18 Dec: Ezra 2:68 – 4:5; Proverbs 30:24 – 33; Rev 9:13 – 10:11
19 Dec: Ezra 4:6 – 5:17; Psalm 145:1 – 7; Rev 11:1 – 11:19
20 Dec: Ezra 6:1 – 7:10; Psalm 145:8 – 13a; Rev 12:1 – 13:1a
21 Dec: Ezra 7:11 – 8:14; Psalm 145:13b – 21; Rev 13:1b – 13:18
22 Dec: Ezra 8:15 – 9:15; Proverbs 31:1 – 9; Rev 14:1 – 14:13
23 Dec: Ezra 10:1 – 10:44; Psalm 146:1 – 10; Rev 14:14 – 15:8

Enjoy!
Monkey


Community of Readers's picture

Episode #50: Ink on our fingers

Esther is a story for those who seize the moment. And it carries hope for those Jews far from Jerusalem. So is this a different kind of Jewish faith? And what about the bit they never told you in Sunday School?


Monkey's picture

The MonkeyBar Challenge Week 50

Hi everyone,

We're now so nearly at the end of the year. The final book of the New Testament is now well underway. Keep going - just a little more!

10 Dec: Zech 12:1 – 14:21; Proverbs 30:1 – 10; Rev 2:1 – 2:17
11 Dec: Esther 1:1 – 2:18; Psalm 140:6 – 13; Rev 2:18 – 3:6
12 Dec: Esther 2:19 – 5:14; Psalm 141:1 – 10; Rev 3:7 – 3:22
13 Dec: Esther 6:1 – 8:17; Psalm 142:1 – 7; Rev 4:1 – 4:11
14 Dec: Esther 9:1 – 10:3; Proverbs 30:11 – 23; Rev 5:1 – 5:14
15 Dec: Mal 1:1 – 2:16; Psalm 143:1 – 12; Rev 6:1 – 6:17
16 Dec: Mal 2:17 – 4:6; Psalm 144:1 – 8; Rev 7:1 – 7:17

Have a great week!
Monkey


Community of Readers's picture

Episode #49: The holy grail

How do we build a society when different cultures clash? This is the question that simmers in the background to Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. With different agendas vying for power, how will the People of Israel fare after Exile. And how will we, in our world of great differences and deep opportunities?


Monkey's picture

The MonkeyBar Challenge Week 49

Hi everyone,

Today we begin the final rung of The MonkeyBar Challenge 2011!! This is the very last stretch. If you've been going this far - the end is within swinging distance!

3 Dec: Dan 9:20 – 11:1: Psalm 137:1 – 9; 1 John 3:11 – 4:6
4 Dec: Dan 11:2 – 11:35; Psalm 138:1 – 8; 1 John 4:7 – 4:21
5 Dec: Dan 11:36 – 12:13; Psalm 139:1 – 10; 1 John 5:1 – 5:21
6 Dec: Hag 1:1 – 2:23; Proverbs 29:19 – 27; 2 John 1:1 – 1:13
7 Dec: Zech 1:1 – 4:14; Psalm 139:11 – 16; 3 John 1:1 – 1:14
8 Dec: Zech 5:1 – 8:23; Psalm 139:17 – 24; Jude 1:1 – 1:25
9 Dec: Zech 9:1 – 11:17; Psalm 140:1 – 5; Rev 1:1 – 1:20

Enjoy!
Monkey