SCRIPTURE READING: Daily Scripture reading, devotions, and meditation are foundational
elements of the Christian faith that is practiced in daily life. In Gods Word we
find the inspiration, strength, encouragement, and guidance we need to live and think as
- Read Psalm 119.105.
- Begin with prayer and, in light of of the psalm verse, remember to give thanks, express
regrets, offer intercession, and acknowledge Gods purpose in your lives.
- A story that is often told in our family gatherings is...
- My favorite passage in the Bible is...
For Your Information:
- Read 2 Timothy 3.16-17. What characteristics of Gods Word are described here?
List the 4 things that for which it says Scripture is useful?
- Read Hebrews 4.12. What characteristics of Gods Word are described here?
- Read Acts 8.26-39.
- What does the Ethiopian official need in order to understand the Bible?
- What is the effect of his reading and understanding?
- In 8.31, the word for "guide" is hodêgeô, a word whose roots imply
being led along a path. (It is in contrast to the Greek word which we translate as
"exegete" which implies leading something out of the text.)
- Read Romans 15.4. Why does God give us a Bible?
- Read John 1.1-4, 14. How does this description of Jesus relate to the creation story in
Genesis 1? (Also read Hebrews 1.1-2 to see how this point is expressed in another way.)
- How is the Bible like or unlike the following?
- a book of proofs
- a law book
- a story
- a book of prophecy
- an owner's manual
- the TV Guide
- a science textbook
- a history textbook
- a newspaper
- a whole library of books
- When you read the Bible, what are you most interested in?
- learning moral law by which to guide my life
- discovering principles and ideals by which to make decisions
- learning about an important literary document of Western culture
- coming to a better understanding of the history and theology of ancient Israel and early
- experiencing a closer relationship with God
- Consider 2 Timothy 3.16-17 again. What does it mean to say Scripture is inspired by God?
Does it mean that the Bible is true? Factually accurate? Literally correct? Can something
be true without being factual? Real without being actual?
- Read the statement from the ELCA
Constitution. Does it accurately reflect your understanding of the Bible? What is it
implicitly not acknowledging?
- Consider Hebrews 4.12 again. In what ways is the Word of God like a "two-edged
- What is the relationship between the Old and the New Testaments? To put it another way,
what is the story line of the whole Bible that holds it all together?
- In light of the story about the Ethiopian official in Acts 8.26-39, what do you need in
order to read and understand the Bible? What will be the effect of your reading?
- Thinking of John 1 again, why is "Word of God" a helpful way of describing
- Tell about a time when a passage from Scripture was important to you or just the
word you needed to hear.
- What is a Bible passage you want read at your funeral? Why?
EXERCISE 1: Choose a favorite passage (Psalm 23 is a good
one) and compare it with a number of different translations. Do you like one version
better than the others? Why? Does any particular turn of phrase help you rethink or
re-imagine a verses meaning?
EXERCISE 2: Choose a favorite verse and read it through entirely emphasizing one word
at a time. Give time for meditation between each reading of the verse. When you are done,
share your insights.
EXERCISE 3: Join your daily praying with your daily Scripture reading. Choose a verse
and use the T.R.I.P. method of asking:
- What in this verse am I Thankful for?
- What does it reveal that I Regret or need to confess?
- How should I Intercede or what should I pray for?
- What Purpose for my day does this verse give me?
(For more on this T.R.I.P. method, see the Daily Texts from Mount Carmel
Ministries, page vi. Contact them at 1-800-793-4311 or at www.dailytext.com)
EXERCISE 4: Enact a Bible scene with people playing human, animal, and inanimate roles.
Pay close attention to the text in order to get the proper staging. Use your imagination
to fill in the unspoken parts of the scene. (If you are by yourself, visualize the scene
as if you were filming a movie of it.) Some good passages you may wish to try are:
- The Creation story in Genesis 1.1-2.4
- The Temptation story in Genesis 3.1-13
- The story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22.1-14
- Psalm 1
- The story of Jonah
- The parable of the Sower in Mark 4.3-9
When done, reflect on any new insights you have.
- Schedule a time for daily reading of the Bible. If it helps, use a reading schedule. To
help establish a Bible reading habit, consider using a booklet like the Daily Texts
from Mount Carmel. (On the Internet, check out Mt. Carmel at www.dailytext.com or the American Bible Society's
Daily Scripture Reading Guide at www.americanbible.org/dbrg/nscript.htm
- Start a daily prayer and Scripture journal.
- Make notes, underline, highlight, etc. as you read your Bible! Draw pictures of what is
happening in the text! Compose a poem or song about it!
- Parents, Grandparents, and Godparents: Be sure to be reading Bible stories to the
children in your care!
For Further Study:
Sacred Reading: The Art of Lectio Divina by Michael Casey (Triumph, 1995) - Lectio
Divina is an ancient and revered method of reading the Bible.
|The ELCA "accepts the canonical Scriptures of the
Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm
of its proclamation, faith, and life."
[ELCA Constitution, 2.03]
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