You would think I'd know how to read the Bible. I grew up in the church, was raised in a scripture-reading family, have two theology and biblical study degrees, and have served as a pastor for the last 15 years.
But I just now feel like I'm learning to read the Bible well.
These last 3 years of preaching on a near-weekly basis, combined with the weekly rhythm of teaching Bible study, has done wonders in my ability to read the text well. I'm asking better questions of the text, I'm more curious than ever, and I've loved the grind of hunting for answers to these queries.
I'm finally experiencing what I always knew to be true: that you learn best by doing.
For years, I spent innumerable and invaluable time in classrooms and study sessions, learning about the mechanics and technique of reading the Bible. But I rarely, actually read the Bible. I wasn't practicing what I was learning. It's only through diving deeply into the rich, sacred text of scripture that I have walked away with its rich, sacred meaning for my life. I've finally given the Bible the room to work in and on and through me, and it's most-certainly doing its work.
So, may we all be people who take scripture really seriously. May we wrestle with scripture, diving deep into its truth and significance, not surfacing until we've wrangled blessing from its pages. Let's not just be a 'Bible-believing church,' but a Bible reading church. But, more importantly, let's allow our time in scripture to actually mold us into more committed followers of Jesus.