Read it Again (Jan. 25, 2013)

…Opening To…

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means. (George Bernard Shaw)

…Listening In…

The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; he keeps me alive. He guides me in proper paths for the sake of his good name. (Psalm 23:1-3; context)

…Filling Up…

The fifth thing not to do when you read the Bible is to skip over things you’ve read before. You may know a passage backward and forward. You may have heard the nativity story every year for fifty years. You may have read Psalm 23 a hundred times. The next time you come upon it, don’t pass it by. Read it again.

You can probably get away with reading the latest bestseller a single time. You might want to read through Harry Potter twice. But when it comes to the Bible, multiple readings is always the best way to go. Back when the accounts of the Gospel were newly written, some scholars tell us, a reader performed the text every Sunday. The entire Gospel. Every week. In certain prayerful Bible study methods, you might read the same passage three times in a half hour period. These multiple readings help us to savor the words we find in the Bible. They help us to place ourselves inside the text, and they help us to place the text inside ourselves. They make us familiar, like old friends who pick up right where they left off even after years with no contact.

You see, the Bible will be the same every time you read it. But you will be different. And therefore, your encounter with God, even in the same familiar text, will be different and new, as well.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you make yourself known to me in the pages of the Bible. Help me to seek you whenever I read it and to bring my whole self to the reading of scripture. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, trusting that you will grant me the patience to study the Bible slowly and keep my eyes and heart open for your presence in my life.

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