Here’s the rest of the post from Wednesday. We’re talking about avoiding Bible Boredom…
When we were little, my cousin Karl had some weird ideas about road signs. And one of them was that this was the only place deer could cross the road legally.
Somehow he thought deer would understand (maybe because of the picture of themselves that they’d recognize) and line up to cross only where they saw that sign.
Over the years I’ve had some weird ideas about what was “legal” Bible reading…you know…what “counted” on the cosmic scoreboard of spirituality.
When I was in college, you hadn’t really read the Bible unless it was at 6 a.m. for at least 30 minutes (after you had done the prescribed minimum of 15 minutes of prayer, using A.C.T.S don’tcha know, and before the 15 minutes of journaling) and it had to be the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD version of the Bible.
God want us. Our whole being, fully engaged with Him, whatever that looks like so that He can love us well and morph us into people who look more like Him. He speaks joy and courage and comfort and direction into our lives as a gift.
So here’s the extra little secret that I referred to on Wednesday. You may like it, but you may not.
When I was in High School, the book that I didn’t want to read was The Brothers Karamazof. I know, I know…a classic, and it may be your favorite, but for me it was Cliff Notes all the way.
The Message version of the Bible is kind of like the Cliff Notes of church world – a dynamic equivalent in contemporary language. Yep, you’ll miss out on some nuance and exact translation, but it’s ok. It’s legal!
If reading the Message will give you a fresh start at interacting with God’s word, go for it! And as a bonus, check out Solo, an uncommon devotional that uses The Message and provides a passage of Scripture for every day of the year, from Genesis through Revelation, so you get at least one passage from every book of the Bible.
What I like about it is that it leads you through the passage in a practice of repeated readings and listening for words or phrases that God might impress upon you personally. It asks a couple of guiding questions without commentary so it really forces you to engage with the text.
What “rules” do you resist about Bible reading?