You know how the COVID pandemic didn’t cause race relations to deteriorate or Christians to stop going to church or this nation’s politics to irreversibly polarize or the culture to sink into depression or the world to go off the rails, it just sped up the process of what was already happening? It’s happened with our Bible reading, too. Or, I should say, it’s happening. It’s been happening consistently for quite some time. And now it’s happened even faster.
According to the American Bible Society, roughly 50-percent of all American adults reported opening Scripture at least three times a year every single year between 2011 and 2021. Half the country’s population was reading the Bible at least three times a year. For more than a decade, that number didn’t really fluctuate. Until 2022. The number dropped dramatically last year to 39-percent.
That means about 26-million Americans who had always read their Bibles stopped reading the Bible last year.
According to the same research, more than half of all U.S. residents say they wish they read the Bible more. If you are one of those people who don’t read the Bible anymore, may I encourage you to pick it up? Today?
The Bible is the one true eternal Story of God through which we view the untruths of the culture and the world that’s eating us up alive. The Bible reminds us of who we are and to whom we belong, who’s really in control, and where all this is ultimately headed. Spending time in the Story, hearing the Voice, ingesting the Way, the Truth, and the Life into our hearts and minds and souls, helps us keep things straight.
Start with a Gospel and read it out loud. I would suggest beginning with Mark or John. Read it out loud between now and Sunday. Two or three times each day, two or three chapters out loud each time, so that you’ve read one of the Gospels out loud before the end of the week. Do that with all four Gospels over the next month and feel God’s Spirit changing you. Hear the Voice of the Lord speaking directly into your heart. Experience the Truth getting inside your blood and bones. Embrace the peace that surpasses all understanding.
Read your Bible. I know you want to. So just do it.