Why Read The Bible
By Else Tennessen
Like many of us, I often have trouble reading the Bible every day. That is why I am grateful for helps like St Luke’s 40-Day Bible Reading Challenge for Lent (http://files.elseten.com/40daybiblereadingchallenge.pdf). This list gives me a goal (reading each day) and what to do (the readings are already prescribed so I don’t have to decide what to read). Finding the time can be hard, though, even for so simple a plan. Life distracts; one is tired. So there must be other motivations to read the Scriptures. Here are some that I came up with.
Encountering the Living God. Our Christian walk is not just a way of life, it is a relationship with a Person. Besides prayer, God also talks to us through the Scriptures. I have found all too often that He has something to say to me in the written Word. But I wouldn’t know what that “something” is unless I pick up the Bible and read. God chooses to disclose Himself and His will for me through the Word. So I need to read.
Providing the answers. Life brings many questions. What should I do? Who am I? How can I live as a Christian in this culture? How should I relate to others? While the Scriptures are ancient works, they have many contemporary answers within. Man’s dilemmas are the same now as they were in the past. But I need to read to discover the answers.
Finding out for myself. All too often, we are satisfied with having others read to us (as in the Divine Liturgy) or tell us what they have read in the Bible. But we need to have a personal experience of the Scriptures. We can’t take someone else’s word for it, so to speak. When we receive letters in the mail, we like to read them ourselves. So too with the Bible: God’s letter to us. We need to view His handwriting, His signature, and all the paragraphs in the letter with our own eyes.
Growing and becoming strong spiritually. This one might seem obvious, but often we forget to exercise our spiritual muscles. We will not mature by doing nothing. Part of my spiritual growth and my spiritual food is reading the Bible. And if I don’t eat, I’ll starve!
The Master awaits in your reading spot: office, den, family room. He smiles and says, Come sit by Me, and pats the sofa seat next to Him. He holds a book in His lap. It’s open and waiting. Come, let’s read together, He says. Won’t you join Him today?