Reading the Bible at home, before, during and after lockdown
‘Read the Bible, pray every day’ is a Sunday School song which seemed old-fashioned even when I was little. But the message is absolutely true: regular prayer and Bible study are as vital to our faith as food, water and exercise are to our bodies.
There are numerous Bible study books, apps and guides available, which may (or may not) be helpful in speaking to our present spiritual needs. Personally, I’ve used different approaches to the Bible over the years, changing my patterns of prayer as life has changed. What matters is that, one way or another, we keep in touch with God and allow that relationship to grow.
‘Regular prayer and Bible study are as vital to our faith as food, water and exercise are to our bodies.’
What matters is keeping in touch with God
Keeping in touch with God is vital if our relationship with him is to grow. We asked members of our BRF lockdown coffee group how using their Bible reading notes fits in with their daily routine and how it helps them to keep in touch with God. Here are some of their responses:
‘It opens up those Bible passages that contain words, ideas or practices which were probably familiar to those originally hearing them but which are quite puzzling to us in the 21st century.’
‘The selection of authors provides a variety of approaches to scripture and thoughtful spiritual insights, which are very helpful.’
‘I love the way that the BRF notes give me new insights into well-known passages of the Bible. When we may be tempted to think there is no more to say about a well-known passage, something turns up which gives a new perspective and broadens our ideas.’
‘Background knowledge, often included, can bring stories to life and show a new, significant slant which makes the passage more understandable.’
My daily routine
‘My day gets underway with prayer, sitting comfortably, and then continues with reading the BRF notes for the day. During this quiet time, I find myself contemplating and receiving the way ahead from God.’
‘I read the BRF note for the day, usually through twice, as part of my quiet time after breakfast.’
‘Mostly this is a time of personal study and prayer early in the day, but sometimes my wife and I begin our prayer time together with the Bible reading notes.’
‘A new development during lockdown – a BRF Zoom coffee group – has added another dimension to my Bible reflection and I now find I get most from these daily readings when I can discuss them with other people.’
A wonderful opportunity
Our BRF coffee Zoom meetings began as a response to lockdown and are continuing as we’ve all found them so valuable!
We meet for an hour, on Tuesdays at 10.30 am, on Zoom, coffees in hand. We begin by each sharing – in confidence, of course – something we’d like to thank God for and something or someone we’d like to pray for. One of us then summarises these thanksgivings and requests in prayer.
‘Meeting over the Bible has encouraged and inspired me.’
Then we turn to our BRF notes. We say the BRF prayer together and one of us reads aloud the passage and commentary for the day. Depending on numbers, we split into two or three breakout rooms for 15–20 minutes and share anything that has struck us. We resume for a final prayer together and then go our separate ways, ‘to love and serve the Lord’.
Our BRF coffee Zooms have provided a wonderful opportunity to share both our insights and our struggles. Meeting over the Bible has encouraged and inspired me. I would not be without the daily boost provided by the excellent BRF Bible reading notes. Try them out!