January 11, 2011

The Daily Practice of Reading

During community group last night, we all shared the struggle to read the Bible with any amount of regularity. Different reasons cause this lack of consistency, and I was encouraged to know that I'm not alone in this problem. So what can we do to get back on track?

System
One system that I have been using recently is the daily readings from the Book Of Common Prayer (BCP).  Developed in the sixteenth century, the BCP is still used today as the prayer book for Anglicans and Episcopalians worldwide.  Among other things, BCP includes a set of daily readings that follow a two-year cycle through the entire Bible.

What's great is that you don't have to run out and buy a BCP study plan, or even print off a page of readings to follow! The online ESV offers the BCP as one of its devotionals. Each day, the BCP readings are posted in one long set. Even better, you can listen to the reading!

Where I struggle with many of the Bible reading programs available is that they ask you to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. This means you'll spend at least a week reading only the Book of Numbers, and even longer in Chronicles! Getting bogged down in the data and style of ancient literature can be taxing and discouraging.

Where a program like the BCP suceeds is that each day offers a variety of readings: Psalms, Old Testament, New Testament epistle, and Gospel. So you'll still get into Numbers and Chronicles, but it'll be given in manageable chunks along with other more familiar texts.

Habit
For me, the main difficulty in being consistent is getting Bible reading into my daily habit. With a child, I've learned that no two days–or nights–are ever the same. Even when I get to work, I rarely have the same flow to my day as the day before.

But there has to be something with which we're always consistent!  For me, that moment happens when I open my web browser for the first time each morning. The first thing I do is open a folder of daily bookmarks that contain important things I want to check, including my to do list and what the latest deal is on Woot. Since this is my habit, I added the BCP link to this folder. Now, whenever I open up these pages, my readings for the day are waiting for me.

In the end, we each have to find what works best for our daily habits. Some days are going to be harder than others to find time to read, but the daily practice of reading the Bible is one that will encourage you to continue practicing your faith and grow deeper in your knowledge of the truth.

Discussion
  • What ways have you found that help you read the Bible daily?

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