What are you reading in the Bible these days? What is your routine? Do you read a lot, or a little? We can get tied up in a lot of questions like these when we think about our spiritual lives.
Here’s a different sort of question to ask yourself: Where does scripture breathe into your life?
I attended a Bible study at Oscar’s in downtown Midland this week. A group of people meet there every other Wednesday evening at 7:30pm for a time called “Bibles, Blessings, and Brews.” It’s a space where people who might not be comfortable in a traditional worship service can engage with other believers and talk openly about Jesus, the Bible, and spiritual things. If you’re free on a Wednesday evening, you should give it a try! The next meeting will be on November 11.
During this meeting, the group’s leader said something that really stuck with me. He said that people sometimes try to read the Bible in ways that aren’t very helpful. For instance, many will begin reading it from cover to cover, like a normal book, but usually by the time a person gets to Leviticus and Deuteronomy, the project becomes less and less interesting. (Remember during our Chronological Bible project: it took several weeks to get through the first five books of the Bible, and we didn’t even get to Jesus until late September!)
So the leader said that he encourages people to read the Bible differently. Rather than reading it straight through, we should look for “where the Bible breathes into us.” That language is what has stuck with me since that night.
Where does the Bible breathe into your life? Where does it have room to expand and take shape? Where does it resonate with you? What books of the Bible can you read that cause you to reflect more deeply on the God who loves you?
These are all different ways of asking the same question. Maybe in your life right now, the stories of Jesus are most meaningful: your imagination is stretched upward as you watch Jesus teach, perform miracles, and proclaim the kingdom. Maybe in your life you prefer the Old Testament stories of the Exodus and Joshua, in which the people of God wander through the wilderness and rely on the constant, protective, guiding presence of God for every day’s journey. Maybe your life is enriched by the writings of Paul as he makes sense of the message of Jesus in everyday life. Maybe your spirit sings along with the Psalms or is enriched by the wisdom of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.
So, what are you reading these days? What difference is it making in your life?
How can you create space in your life to allow scripture to breathe into you and through you?