“Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.
I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.”
I confess I’ve never been much of a Bible reader. I’ve struggled with keeping my mind on the words in front of me. I often drift to start thinking about…well almost anything else. There have been years at a time where the surest way for me to fall asleep was to open that book and start reading. And I didn’t feel like it was something I could share too widely in my circles. How does a Christian say, “I don’t really like reading my Bible”? Women who talked about “a love of Scripture” or “getting into the Word” just highlighted that I was going about the Christian life wrong. And well I always want to do things right.
Three years ago right around New Year’s my pastor Steve on a Sunday morning encouraged us to use the year to read the Bible more, whatever that more might be for us. Simply because it’s something that’s good for our spirits. Like nutrition of the soul, the better the ingredients of what you put in, the healthier you’ll be. In Steve fashion he declared our sanctuary a “guilt free zone” and encouraged people to come to the front to share how they made Bible reading more consistent and plain enjoyable. I remember it was three years ago because Rachel, a woman about my age who I was just getting to know, came to the front and said studying the Bible with other people is what helped her. A few of us had been considering starting a MOPS group at our church. Rachel and I talked about Bible study vs. MOPS group and the benefits of both. This sweet woman died within the year. And I’ve thought of her often as my own desire to learn what is in the Good Book has grown.
These weeks of Advent, I’ve been reflecting with my friends from my MOPS group, the one we started at our church after Rachel died, about these daily little readings. We aren’t tackling chapters or books of the Bible, but short verses. I haven’t had time to write the perfect reflection on any of them, it’s been more about the discipline of the reading with my friends. Reading. Just doing it. Because they want to do it with me. Because reading it together, hearing others’ understanding of the words brings it to life in a new way for me. Just like Rachel said it would.