Biblical digestion . . . what can that mean? No, I’m not talking about Old Testament dietary laws, nor contemporary biblical diet fads. I’m talking about one of my favorite collects in the Book of Common Prayer, which I give you below from the first English prayer book (1549):
Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience, and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Like the nutrients and energy in our food, we want God’s Word to enter our bloodstream, course through our veins and be the very nourishment by which we live. While Bible study is essential to inward digestion, there is also great benefit in Bible reading, where we immerse ourselves in the sweeping redemptive story, reading chunks at a time on a daily basis. We encounter the living God as He reveals Himself in the midst of the hopes and heartaches, rebellion and return, betrayals, political upheavals, suffering, judgment, weakness and renewal of his people. God’s Word written leads us always to the Living Word, Jesus of Nazareth, who makes all things new.
I invite you to join me reading through the Bible in one year, beginning this January. Now, you might be intimidated, thinking that because I am a pastor I can do this, but you can’t. Let me assure you that I find it challenging, myself. In fact, one of the reasons I am sharing this with you and inviting you to join me is because I know I need accountability and support.
You can find a few of my suggestions for Bible reading, including some reading plans, in the pdf below.
God’s Word written leads us to the Living Word. We remember in Advent that, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Peace on Earth,