My regular reading of Scripture has morphed a lot over time. Early on in my life as a convert, I read out of a sense of duty. It was an obligation. There was occasionally the joy of discovery and the not-infrequent encounter with the Living God that made the practice worthwhile, but my heart wasn’t always in it. Mostly there were long seasons of little regular reading, punctuated with brief bursts of intense reading and study, usually during periods of crisis or transition in my life.
That was pretty much the norm until a few years ago, when I learned to take Jesus at his word and started living my life as if I actually believed the veracity of the things he proclaimed to be true. Since then, the obligatory aspect of all spiritual discipline has fallen away (see the letter to the Galatians), while not negating the power and helpfulness of those classical spiritual practices (see the letter penned by James). Entering into Scripture became one more element of my interaction with my Good Friend, a way to hear his voice clearly day in and day out, a way to center myself back on the foundational truths and correct the inevitable drift that occurs from being “in the world”. (more…)