Dear friends in Christ,
The invitation to the observance of a holy Lent from the Ash Wednesday service encourages us to read and meditate on God’s holy word. This is an excellent Lenten practice and, even better, a good way to sustain ourselves throughout our lives.
I wrote a bit about reading scriptures last week. My suggestions still stand: consider reading one of the Gospels this Lent, or perhaps read your way through some psalms. This week, I wanted to add a bit more about steeping ourselves in scripture. Here are some suggestions:
- Get a Bible you love to read. If you have a dusty old Bible that you love, great! But if you don’t love the one you have, try something else. There are modern translations, ancient translations, and easily accessible paraphrases. Check out the NRSV, the RSV, the Authorized (King James Version, the Message, the NIV, or others. You can find all these on Bible Gateway. You can get Bibles with leather covers or paperback or hardback or whatever you like. And, of course, you might just prefer to use a Bible app on your phone.
- Try reading a whole book if you haven’t done that before. Jonah is a quick (and funny!) and inspiring read. 1 Samuel is a gripping page-turner, and so is Acts. The Gospels will remind you of the great narrative of Jesus’ life, passion, death, and resurrection. Isaiah or the psalms offer lovely poetry. And on and on.
- Read the Bible with others. You can read parts of it with those who share your household or with friends. Join your church’s Bible study. Or mark your calendar for next January when the Good Book Club starts, and you can join a church-wide reading campaign.
- Read a book as a companion to your journey. Forward Movement’s Bible Challenge series is perfect for this.
- Watch videos and learn. The Bible Project offers excellent videos for free.
- Say the Daily Office or just read the daily lessons of the Episcopal Church. You’ll make your way through a lot of the Bible over a year.
Reading scripture, especially with others, will offer spiritual gifts beyond measure. We are reminded of God’s great love for us, and as we read God’s deeds of old, we also know that God will bless us now and forever.
Blessings on your journey.
P.S. To get a head start on next January’s Good Book Club reading of Genesis, you can order the newest Bible Challenge book, A Journey with Genesis, at a special pre-publication discount. Learn more here!
More from our ministry:
Pray with the women of the Bible in the expanded second edition of Bible Women
Listen to today’s Daily Office readings on our newest podcast, Scripture Day by Day
Follow the Bible’s narrative journey with The Path
Learn more about a biblical saint in this recent post from Grow Christians