Listening to the Text

“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Tim 4:13).

I have a 2 hour commute to church each Sunday.

I’m in an unusual situation in that I’m currently serving my church about 2 hours away while I wait for my permanent residency to come in so I can serve my church full-time and relocate to our area. As it stands now, we’re very thankful to be able to serve our church each Sunday as it is!

But, I get a lot of time to think, to pray, and of course in a car, to listen! And how often do we listen to the Scriptures any longer? Many times in most of our churches we have given up Paul’s injunction to devote ourselves to the public reading of Scripture. In our Evangelical churches we may hear a brief passage each Sunday read and only if it is what the preacher is going to be preaching on. Yet, in mainline churches, they might get up to four major sections of Scripture read each Sunday! In someways, those who attend mainline churches may get more Scripture than many Evangelical churches!

But I digress… simply there are so many great resources to “listening” to the Scriptures when we have the opportunity to do so. In cleaning out my predecessor’s office at my church I discovered an excellent set of New Testament CD’s from the ESV narrated by Max McLean. On the car ride home from our PM service last night I listened to the first 16 chapters of Matthew narrated by McLean. It was so great to listen to the text. I was able to listen to the text carefully and hear it anew in a way that is so different than reading it on our own.

And speaking of reading the text on our own, we rarely do that even! I’m starting a new Bible reading challenge that will have me read 10 chapters a day! But I’m going to use the opportunity to listen to the text read to me. Using Professor Horner’s reading list and this neat system that will track it for me. I can listen to the text read from the ESV each day! What a wonderful opportunity to listen to the text of Scripture and to have it change us as we meditate on us.

We all have some time we can carve away from music, talk radio, television or the like. Take some time to listen to the text this year!

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