It might seem a bit obvious - but I wonder how many of us read the Bible? I know there is one guy in our church who is always somewhere reading his way through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Others use things like “The Upper Room,” or other devotionals that will have a verse or two with a thought to start or end their day. There are a few more out there who read the scripture that we publish as the text for the coming Sunday sermon and wonder what does the title of the sermon have to do with this scripture?
There are a lot of different translations and paraphrases. I use two and they are mostly what we read during worship: The New Revised Standard Version and “The Message.” I use the NRSV for study and reflection and “The Message” for a bit more familiar language.
There are also a lot of ways you can read the Bible these days. On Sunday morning we print out the scripture in the bulletin and I think it is important that many of you are now following along. We have a guy in our Bible Study class who uses his i-Phone to read the Bible; I guess he has the app for that. To tell you the truth I’ve been reading the Bible a lot on my computer. I’ve got plenty of copies of the Bible but I thank God every day nonetheless for larger fonts sizes on my computer. You can’t read what you can’t see. A lot of the Bibles on my shelf have such small print that sometimes I think faith is so hard for me not because I missed something in the translation, but because I couldn’t see to read it.
However you read the Bible, the most important thing is that you pick it up or turn it on or pull up the app or get out the magnifying glass and read it. Read it not as a book of science or as a book of social – political history or anything other than the story of God’s desire to be connected to this world and to you. The Bible is really a Library of 66 books. The most checked out books are the four Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Gospel means “Good News,” and these four tell the story of Jesus’ life.
If you’re wondering where to start reading the Bible; I’d say the gospel of Luke and then read John. They describe Jesus in very different ways. Then you may want to read Genesis and Exodus, and then maybe Romans. If you like poetry start with the Psalms any Psalm.
Keep the Faith!