by Rev. Rob Merola, originally posted on February 16, 2013 on DaddyRoBlog.
For those who have asked me for book recommendations for the season of Lent, here you go:
I recommend Bible Reading during Lent. You probably won’t get through the whole Bible in the 40 days in Lent, so here are some suggestions.
Pick a chunk and read it. It’s pretty easy to read through the New Testament , but if that’s too much perhaps just read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Or simply read through the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) every week, and maybe even memorize some of it.
I’m thinking of taking a different chunk every year and working my way through the entire Bible once again in so doing . This year, for instance, I’m reading through the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible, or Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).
I’d forgotten how interesting Genesis is. I sat down to read the first three chapters and got so caught up in the story I didn’t stop until chapter 24 (half way through!) And there is so much to think about in the story so far—about what it means to be human, the kinds of choices that are always before us, and even who God is (the story is actually pretty surprising on that front, and may well challenge some traditionally held notions).
Other chunks might be the historical books of Joshua through Esther, the wisdom books of Job through the Song of Songs, or the Prophets. Of course any of these can be broken down further; you could simply read through the Psalms, or study the book of Job, or break the prophets into the Major Prophets (the long ones like Isaiah and Jeremiah) and the Minor Prophets (like Habakkuk).
The point is to make reading the Bible both manageable and interesting. Talk to others about what you are reading—you can bet I’ll be talking about Genesis, for instance. You might even join with some others who are reading the same portions and form a discussion group.
I’ve also found journaling a helpful companion to Bible reading. I like to keep my journal open so that when something jumps out, I can write it down and reflect more about how it applies to my life.
Finally, reading daily devotions can also be a great way to interact with Scripture. The important thing here is to also read the passage the devotional is written about, and then use the devotional as a jumping off point. Do you agree with what the devotional says? What have you learned from it? Is there a similar way the Bible passage applies to your own life? Can you take the line of thought found in the devotional even farther? What difference does the truth you are reflecting on make?