Take and Read

Tim Brown

READ : Nehemiah 8:1-8

So they read from the book . . . (v. 8)

For the last several days we have been thinking about how the Bible profits believers. Beginning today I would like us to think about a special way of reading the Bible first developed by Benedict of Nursia (480-547). It is known as lectio divina, which means “divine reading.” This special method is designed to help us experience the profitable uses of the Bible. Lectio divina is made up of four distinct practices: reading (_lectio_), meditation (_meditatio_), prayer (_oratio_), and acts of obedience (_contemplatio_).

The whole process depends on our willingness to read the Bible in the first place. On the surface this sounds so ordinary. But actually daily Bible reading is not a given in our high-tech, fast-paced world. Research shows that fewer Christians read the Bible than ever before. The chapter you read today, Nehemiah 8, describes the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. The crescendo of that dedication is the reading of the Book. O give me that Book!

Several times you have heard me say this, “O give me that Book!” I am actually quoting from John Wesley’s introduction to his collected sermons. Wesley said, “I want to know one thing, the way to heaven. . . . God Himself has condescended to teach the way. . . . He hath written it down in a book! Oh, give me that Book!” Treasures await us when we read the Book.

PRAYER

Teach me to love your Word, O Lord.