Do you have the YouVersion Bible App on your phone? Have you ever done one of their Bible Reading Plans?
They’re usually pretty short; the one I am doing right now is, I think a 6- or 7-day plan. It is called “Draw Me Nearer,” I think — nearer to Jesus. Here is the thing about these plans: a lot of days there are several Scripture passages to read each day. I never finish a plan in 7 days. The last one I did, Prayers of Jesus, it took me about 5 months. Probably 3 months just on John 17.
My problem is, I do lectio divina, “divine reading.” You choose a verse or short passage, read, recite, reflect … let the word descend from your mind to your heart and thus become enfleshed as our beloved Henri Nouwen said.
You discover amazing insights as you invite Jesus to reveal to you the deep meaning of Scripture. Passages you may have heard dozens of times take on beautiful new life. I highly recommend it. But it takes a bit of time. You might spend all your “quiet time” in one day — or one week — on one verse, or two.
And one day the “Draw Me Nearer” Bible Reading Plan had assigned me 7 passages, enough for a week at least, and some of them were fairly lengthy for lectio divina. I had to break them up into smaller segments. And when I got to some particular passages of Isaiah, I admit, I wasn’t feeling it.
Isaiah 30:1-17 for instance. It’s a long passage, and pretty condemnatory. Woe to you for trusting in Egypt and all that. I’m not, you know, real big on judgment. I think judgment will be God reading out your name and saying, “Well done!” because He’s just so crazy about you.
So this passage … um … what do you do with it? I’ll tell you. Tomorrow. This has already gone on longer than a 6-day reading plan!