Pray with holy fervor as we try to teach the Word

This started life as a post on the Ship of Fools’ Daily Office thread. The title of the post comes from the song Holy Manna, which is stuck in my head and can get out now, kthxbai.

When I went away to college, the Methodist church I’d been a member of for 12 years presented me with a NRSV copy of The Student Bible (Zondervans). In it are several different Bible reading plans. I started with doing a couple of the two-week ones, more out of a curiosity of What The Bible Really Said than anything else. As this was the early days of the Internet, I’d pulled some sort of read-the-psalter-in-30-days scheme offline and put it into my Student Bible with colored pencils.

So, suddenly, I was closing my nights by reading a couple of psalms and a chapter of the Bible.

Then I decided to go for it, and jumped in to the 180-day overview plan at the link provided above, still reading the psalms before I read those chapters. But that wasn’t going quite fast enough, so I started reading a chapter in the morning, and a chapter at night, with sections of the Psalter. When I finished the 180 day overview, I went ahead and did the 3 year plan, but I decided to read 3 chapters in the morning and 3 at night. That meant I read the Bible the whole way through about twice a year.

I followed that more or less for 6 years.

Then I was thrown out of the charismabaptifundi church I’d fallen into, and literally stumbled into Trinity Cathedral Sacramento (California USA), and picked up a BCP. I was only a little surprised to find that the divisions of the psalms I’d copied into my Bible and I’d been reading were right out of the Psalter. To quote Elwood Blues, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

It’s been about four years now that I’ve been praying the Daily Office, and while I enjoy it a lot, I haven’t really *read* the Bible in all that time. Now that I’m thinking about it, I kind of miss it.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Pray with holy fervor as we try to teach the Word

  1. Lee

    I’ve tried praying the Daily Office but started to find that I just didn’t know the Bible well enough to get much out of a lot of the little snippets you get in the lectionary. I need the continuity to make sense of the narrative, especially in large swaths of the OT. So, I’ve been following one of those read-a-chapter-or-two-every-day plans that you mentioned (the three-year one, I think, or one very much like it).

  2. I’d do the same, except… well, I’m not a big fan of begats, and the last half of Exodus is snooze-inducing, and of course there’s nothing in Chronicles that isn’t said better elsewhere.

    So I really do like our lectionary scheme as a nice compromise. Jews just read the five books of Moses on Shabbat over the course of a year; we’ve got two whole [Firefly-Chinese-words] testaments to get through, whether in one year or three. Obviously not everything can be gotten through.