Thursday, November 1, 2012

Family Spritual Disciplines: We Read the Word Together

Earlier this week I posted my sermon on Mary and Martha, focusing on how to bring heaven down to earth and into our family homes.  As I was writing that sermon, I realized there was no way I was going to be able to get a book's worth of material into a less-than-25-minute message.  So I filed a few details for later and decided that this would be a good start to a series on Family Spiritual Disciplines.

Really, I'm just going to tell you what my wife and I do to make sure that we're not only in touch with eachother, but that we're always sure that we're inviting Christ to be a member of the family as well.  I'm kicking things off with a recent addition to our life together, and one that has been more fun than I ever thought it would be: reading scripture together on a daily basis.

When Leanne and I first were married, really back to the start of our engagement, reading scripture was a big part of our routine.  On Leanne's very first visit, actually, she brought with her to Louisiana a copy of Stookey's This Day devotional guide.  On our first date we took the time to read scripture and pray together.  It was a bit of a make it or break it moment for us ... When she pulled that book out and suggested we pray I had to either decide if I was in or out.  Was a I really ready for this?  I mean, praying together?  And reading scripture?  Well, I took the plunge.

We kept it up as often as we could, following the lectionary reading plan in the book.  But soon after we were married, the daily reading went by the wayside.  I'll take a bit of blame for it ... The devotional plan in the book is amazing, but it does take time.  Leanne would bring it up every once in a while, and I would promptly change the subject.

A couple of months ago, we were both thirsting to add reading daily scripture to our routine, we just weren't sure where to start.

Enter, the Youversion Bible ap.

At the start of the summer Leanne took on a 90-day Bible challenge.  It was very difficult and it was easy to get behind on with our crazy schedules.  She had to give it up - it wasn't exactly soul-filling to be stressed about getting in 12 chapters every night.  But it stuck in my mind.

A couple of months ago we were talking and decided together that we would take on a Bible reading challenge as partners.  Except, rather than 90 days, we're following a year-long plan to get us through the Word.  I'm happy to say it's gone real well, with only a couple of delays a long the way.  In 2 months, we've gotten up to Deauteronomy, and it's actually been ... fun ...

We do read the Bible out loud and take turns reading chapters.  It never takes more than 10 minutes as you're only reading 3 to 4 chapters per night.  The plan that we've chosen also closes with a Psalm to pray after the readings, and that's a beautiful element.  The fun element, though, is really getting a sense of the narrative of our salvation story.  Reading it this fast, we're not reading it for details, but we do get a sense of the different voices involved in the writing of the Word.  It's fascinating study and a blessing to my wife and I.   We've started a journey together with this, and because we're doing it together, we hold each other accountable to make sure we finish.  For us, we needed a system to keep us on track and we're thankful for a tool - one that breaks the boundaries between my Android phone and her iPhone.  It reminds me of the peaceful kingdom.

Does your family read scripture together on a regular basis?