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Read the Bible with… Luke Rowe

Luke is an Aussie law student, currently on exchange in Zurich, Switzerland. He loves reading G.K. Chesterton.

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Where do you live and go to church?

I moved Zurich, Switzerland half way through 2014 to do a year of my law degree here. I’ve been going to an International Protestant Church, just down the road from where I live.

What was the first book of the Bible you ever read?

I honestly have no idea. I remember a picture of a lion in a kid’s bible my Papa gave me. So I’m going to take a wild guess at Daniel, but the first book I remember sticking with me is Acts.

Name a Bible character you resonate with and why.

Lazarus. I think G. K. Chesterton put it wonderfully:

“The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.”

It makes me remember when Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Then he walked up to the tomb of a dead man and said, “Get up, and live.”

And he did.

What’s one thing from the Bible that’s stuck in your brain at the moment?

I’ve had a bunch of Psalms stuck in my brain the last while. Moving to Switzerland this year carried with it a whole lot of unknowns and I love how in Psalm 121 the Psalmist keeps repeating “The LORD will keep you”, and not just now but “from this time forth and forever more.” I love its temporal nature and forward-looking orientation. God has been, and continues to be, as I start a new season in a new place, so wonderfully good to me. But the verses also point me to Jesus, and the life and future I have in him, because of his great love for us, shown in his cross, and in his resurrection. I am kept by him in the present and have a beautiful inheritance waiting for me because of what he has done.

Describe one of your Bible reading failures and what you learned.

The first thing that comes to mind is the number of times I have read “take up your cross and follow me” How imperfectly I’ve lived that. Or “as you [fed and clothed and welcomed…] the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.” Or “don’t be afraid.” Or the calls to rest in Jesus. Too often I only hear. I don’t mean this as a guilt driven response, but I don’t live out his word, in the Bible, as I should, and I’ve learnt that God is very forgiving, and very patient with me.

If you were a monster what would be your defining feature?

After careful consideration, I’d be a fast and disciplined monster with an incredible knack for directions. Hands down. If that sounds boring I’d settle for being a flying with-the-power-of-invisibility kind of monster.

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