As a Spiritual Father, I am often asked about a plan to follow for Scripture reading. I am a proponent of daily Scripture reading no matter how much or how little you do each day as long as you do something. Our entire spiritual life is based on Scripture and although I appreciate the works of the fathers and mothers of the Church, we have no hope of understanding what they are writing about if we do not have a grasp of Scripture.
I am not one for memorizing the odd phrase here and there as that does nothing to expand our knowledge of Scripture that is what is important. I recommend a study Bible such as the Orthodox Study Bible for the footnotes that help explain what we are reading but again reading is what is important.
So what do we read? I have three suggestions
You can sign up for my free daily readings email that will send the daily readings from the Orthodox lectionary, plus a quote from the fathers and mothers of the church, each day. This plan is a very convenient way to start to read Scripture as it puts them right in front of you on your computer or mobile device. Having the readings delivered daily to your inbox takes all of the guesswork out of what to read, and it will take you no more than 10 minutes to read.
The second suggestion is the plan that I follow and will take a bit longer to complete. Read one chapter from the Gospels and one chapter from the Epistles and group of Psalms that is called in Orthodoxy the Kathisma. This plan takes some time but is designed to read through the entire New Testament. Completing the Gospels and the Epistles as well, and the reading of the Psalms repeatedly.
The third suggestion takes more time and is much more involved, but it is well worth the time and effort however it does take some practice, the ancient monastic practice of Lectio Divina or Divine Reading. The idea here is to pray with the Scripture. Not merely reading Scripture for reading sake or even to accomplish a significant amount of reading. It’s reading a passage over and again so it becomes a part of you. It’s like savoring a fine wine when it rolls around in your mouth, so the taste permeates our entire being. I write about this practice in my book, Listening to the Heartbeat of God.
Try to remember that it does not matter what plan we follow. These are three suggestions, and there are many more plans out there, it matters that we begin to read the Scriptures and make them a part of our daily lives.
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