How to use the "Letters from Prison" reading plan
On Monday, January 13, HPUMC is starting a new Bible Reading Plan — “Letters from Prison.”
This is a set of letters, written by a man bound in chains, sent to small communities of Jesus’ followers scattered around the Mediterranean. So, when you read it, you are reading someone else's mail!
Here are a few questions you should consider before diving in:
- Who is writing?
- Why is he writing?
- Who is he writing to?
- Why is he writing this to them?
Some days there will be more for you to read, while other days will only have two or three verses. This is intentional. Here's some advice:
Sit and savor it
Don't rush. Don't just check the box for the day. On the days where there are only a few verses, read them multiple times. Paul's letters are short, but they are packed with a lot of dense ideas.
Read with a pen
Underline. Question. Take notes! This will help you better focus on passages and remember the verses that really stood out or spoke to you.
If something confuses you or bugs you, don't just close the book; ask a question! Write your question in the margin, ask a pastor, a friend, or Google.
Re-read it in context
Remember, this is a letter! It would have been read in one sitting, probably out loud — not in bite-sized chunks. So, take your daily digest, and then at the end of the week, read it all together in one sitting, ideally out loud, with other people! It'll shift your perspective.
You aren't reading alone. We're doing this together, and HPUMC will provide support along the way. Subscribe to our weekly email for deeper insight, thought-provoking questions, and a group reflection guide!
Sign up to read with us!
We invite you to take part in our latest Bible Reading Plan, “Letters from Prison,” which features four letters that Paul wrote, while imprisoned, to churches that he started. Passages are designed to be read each weekday, typically taking less than five minutes.
The truth found in these letters has been changing peoples’ lives for 2,000 years, and we can’t wait to see how they will change lives in our church this year!
We believe that God can use the Bible to transform ordinary people into deeply devoted followers of Jesus. Sign up and you’ll receive occasional updates and notes on the readings. Remember, it's never too late to jump in!