Sunday, August 30, 2015

1 Kings, 2 Kings: Set Apart

Set Apart: Holy Habits of Prophets and Kings – Women's Bible Study Participant Book by Jessica LaGrone on Amazon

set part book coverI don't know if the word is timely or serendipitous, but I do know I trust Abingdon, and how timely and serendipitous that this bible study parallels the Revised Common Lectionary readings for this summer! Ideally one might read, study, and pray through the six sections of five separate lessons with a group, but with my background in theology and scripture, I gained insight from studying Set Apart on my own. Each section's / week's focus lets the reader consider their own background in (1)consecration, (2)listening, being (3)mentored and mentoring another, (4)humility—along with careful explanations of what humility isn't and what humility is, (5)worship of God / smashing and otherwise exterminating our own idols, (possibly rediscovering) (6)scripture as King Josiah and his cohorts did, as scripture saturates our entire beings, transforms our lives and actions. Chapter format includes: read the text; reflect on it, think about it, respond to it; short prayer; possible relational, social, prayer, social, political actions connected to that particular lesson.

"Women's Bible Study," yet nothing in the scripture texts or in the lessons Pastor Jessica LaGrone presents wouldn't equally apply to guys or teenagers of either gender. Because I was on my own, the thirty lessons allowed me to read and study one per evening without going beyond my allotted time to review the book on amazon. Each was about the right length, with plenty of material to consider and ponder. Pastor Jessica intersperses additional Old Testament and New Testament passages into the total content that provides an excellent overview of the Hebrew Bible books of 1 Kings and 2 Kings. Although she includes some anecdotes and incidents from her own experience, it isn't overloaded with "I, me, and my," simply enough to help us relate the teaching to our own daily walk.

Jessica LaGrone is Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Seminary and pastors in the liberal, progressive, mainline United Methodist Church, but any Christian (guy, woman, teen) from any tradition could benefit from the perspective she brings. I love the size and shape of the book! I also like the additional sidebar content – some scripture, some observations – in the margins that also have enough space to write your own notes and comments. Set Apart is all-around outstanding; I'll be looking for more of almost the same.

my amazon review: outstanding!

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