Yesterday I implored you to find, situate, open and read any bible you have in your possession. Let’s refine that spiritual habit of bible reading a bit more strategically today. Here are some resources and suggestions to make your bible reading fruitful and profitable…
- Daily! A little bit every day! At the core of every significant movement within the Christian church lies a proactive, personal engagement of a believer with the bible. No “I grew up Roman Catholic or Episcopalian so I never read the bible” explanations here please! Few of us grew up with cell phones either but we seemed to figure them out pretty fast. And please, this reflection journey is a “I just can’t find the time”-free zone. Really?! Here’s hoping our national hall pass to societal recess just afforded us all time to explore new habits like this one.
- Which one? I prefer King James Versions for Shakespeare, dramatic liturgy and bedsides of elderly believers for whom God spoke in Elizabethan cadence. We read and teach from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), which can be found on-line and also with terrific study aids from Oxford Press. The more evangelical New International Version (NIV) is the platform for a cornucopia of customized study editions like Men’s and Women’s and Student’s and Red-Haired Christian’s Bibles…well you get the idea. When I need a different biblical voice I turn to The Message by Eugene Peterson or the English Standard Version (ESV). But usually the best bible is the one closest to me that I can pick up and read!
- When and Where? Maybe the same time every day, like before or after Mother Emily’s Daily Office wonderful videos? And wherever you are most comfortable but perhaps the closer to your prayer corner we constructed earlier, the better.
- Strategy? For most the starting in Genesis is a bit intimating which I understand. The Episcopal Church provides a schedule of readings covering the majority of scripture over a two year schedule we call the Daily Office; please find it helpfully updated daily here. Many of us use the Office schedule (also called a “Lectionary”) to guide us. Others use various “bible in a year” platforms, usually through a website or phone app which delvers a daily updated reading very conveniently. Find one such example, through our Anglican friends who created the Alpha course, here. The web is full of such platforms and feel free to ask me, Emily, Mary, Denise or any pastor for more guidance here.
- Technique? Ahh, that lies beyond the scope of today’s reflection, but as the love-smitten Clarice sings to a dejected Rudolph in Ranklin-Bass’s Christmas classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, There’s Always Tomorrow…and Tomorrow Is Not Far Away!!