Friday, 5 November 2010

Otherwise occupied

I have been not too great in the last few weeks, and so blogging has been almost too much. I put a higher priority on my preaching blog than this one, so I have kept up to date with that (and am even ready to go away on holidays ... blogs will be automatically posted for that period)
But on of the things I have been doing since early September is following M'Cheyne's Bible reading plan which aims to read the whole Bible in one year.
I have since then read about a third of the Bible.
Any 'plan' is going to have limitations and this one is no exception, but I have enjoyed and am enjoying it.
It's a long time (maybe thirty years) since I have read through the whole of the Hebrew Scriptures. I have probably read through the (Greek Scriptures) New Testament numerous times
A couple of things I have noted which you may be interested in:
  • By and large, although M'Cheyne's divisions are arbitrary they work quite well. There are 4 readings each day (basically 1 chapter each) The first two in his mind were to be read as family devotions in the morning and the second two as private evening devotions. I usually read all four at once. In fact I try to read at least two portions (8 chapters) a day as I am aiming to do this in six months (possibly a vanity)
  • I find when I read that I need to give it proper time. There is no point reading while the TV is on! And when I do I can read fairly quickly.
  • It is interesting to read a whole chapter at once . So often in Church we read only 10-20 verses, and we make the mistake of thinking that scripture comes in bite size chunks!
  • The most noticeable thing is that when I read. Give it proper time. And do it as well as I can that I find that my spirits are lifted. It doesn't matter whether I am reading legal texts, love poetry, battle stories or the teaching of the New Testament. Stories by Jesus or the wonderful legends of Genesis.
  • This is very similar to what St Ignatius reports when he, confined to his bed because of great injury, found that 'whodunnits' and 'popular fiction' didn't do much for him but reading the scriptures and reflecting on the lives of the saints really thrilled him.
  • Now I am a creature of the church, and maybe I am being a bit 'pi' but this is what it seems like to me. I have actually been surprised by how much this has enlivened me.
I'll suggest a few more insights in coming days but why not give it a try if you're interested


Anonymous said...

How much do you think we might leave out saying the daily office?

stephen clark said...

The great difficulty with the Daily Office Lectionary is that it is heavily pruned. I have been interested for example to read some of the lists (and will blog about this later)
The BCP Lectionary of course reads through the OT once and the NT twice in one year.
The problem with anything that is edited is that it is one person's or committee's views of what is not and what is important.