For the past 18 months or so I have spent most of my Friday mornings studying scripture with my friend, Michael. It has been a joyful journey.
We began by studying the gospel of John. We took almost a year of Fridays in reading, pondering, questioning and even doubting sometimes as we explored the wonder of the Savior through the eyes and pen of the apostle John. We are now diving into the epistles of John.
I mentioned to Mike the other day that I think of our Bible studies as diving into a pond of clear crystalline water. The scriptures offer a refreshing of spirit and a chance to dive into deep, abiding and purposeful truth. Sometimes we sit on the bank and just dangle our feet in the water. Other times we jump in the deep end and thrill at the joy of seeing things from an eternal perspective.
Bible study can also be a discipline and may be experienced as swimming laps back and forth. While I won’t say that such Bible study is unproductive, it would be a shame if we only approached the scriptures as a discipline to be endured. Or a spiritual workout that leaves us fatigued and exhausted.
As Mike and I study we have found great benefit in the fact that each time we immerse ourselves in the clear waters, we emerge changed, cleansed and refreshed. As we climb out on the sun-warmed grassy bank, we always emerge a little cleaner, purer and renewed.
I should point out the obvious. Not all scripture is the same. There are narratives that trouble and disturb. There are passages that seemingly take us into the deep abyss. In time, even the troubling passages can be seen in the context of the rest of the Bible and offer glimpses into greater truths.
So read with greater enjoyment.
Read with anticipation of discovering great truth.
Read with desire for refreshment of spirit and renewal of the soul.