I consume scripture everyday but not how you might suspect. I don’t read a word out of a bound copy of the Bible. I don’t have the pages bookmarked with a ribbon or a crude piece of paper yet God’s word is consumed daily. I haven’t underlined scripture in weeks.
I do two things each morning to help me consume scripture. I listen to a chapter out of a book of the Bible using the Dwell audio Bible app. Then, I listen to that day’s devotional from the Lectio365 app. Lectio365 includes a Psalm for each day as well as a specific passage of scripture. All of this takes about 13 minutes and I listen while I am getting ready in the morning. In the last few days I have read all of Hebrews, listened to the exchange of Jesus before Pilate, and read Psalm 22.
Is listening to scripture the same as reading it? I think so. Is it a different experience and lacking in some respects? Yes, but the reading experience isn’t without its downsides. Two of my daughters have dyslexia and the printed word is a challenge for them. There best option is the audio option.
I have to tell myself that for most of Christian history the only way to consume scripture was through listening to someone read it aloud in a Church service or learning setting. Before the printing press, all but the most learned or wealthiest had access to the written word.
I savor these moments of listening as hooks that connect me to God, his strong foundation, and truth. I gladly cherish the chance to include the Psalms in my day and appreciate the slow and methodical way that Lectio365 returns to each day’s passage a second time so we can listen again and let the Holy Spirit guide us to the truth we need at that moment.
I am sure that this season of Bible reading will change a year from now as I experiment with something else or change my morning routine. For now, though, I am being enriched daily and am able to do it using selected voices, personalized music, and a devotional that others are also listening to and praying through.
Growing Up is not one size fits all. Just because the most common approach is sitting at a table with a giant Bible and highlighters doesn’t mean that is the only approach. The technology we have has opened up a vast array of choices to interact with God’s word, meditate on it, and to pray consistently. Drop the guilt because you are more drawn to the visual or audio and embrace how God can reach you through a variety of methods.