It’s well known that Saint Jerome says that ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. Jesus Christ is the Word of the Father. He’s the living Word. And so we can encounter his Word. We encounter Jesus whenever we read the scriptures. Whether we are beginning in the book of Genesis or in the Gospels, Jesus is always present.
People will often ask: where do I begin in the Scriptures? And I would say if you’re just starting out, start in the New Testament. Pick a Gospel. Perhaps the Gospel of Mark. It’s the shortest, and you’ll feel accomplished as you have made your way through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. After you’ve read through a Gospel, try one of Paul’s letters, and then begin to make your way through the Old Testament. Just pick a book. Start. Be committed to it. Spend at least 15 minutes each day delving into the Word of God. Sometimes we can get overwhelmed with names that we can’t pronounce or places that we’ve never heard of. We have to be disciplined in our reading of the scriptures.
There are different ways that we can pray with the scriptures. One way is through lectio divina, or divine reading. Lectio divina calls us to spend some time to contemplate on the scriptures, to see how the Word speaks to us, and then calls us to action. Another way would be to use our imagination while we’re reading the scriptures. Using our imagination means that we enter into the passage as though we we’re there. We recognize the details, what the weather feels like to us, how Jesus might look at us. And then we use all of those images. Reading the scriptures is a necessary part of every Christian life. Be disciplined, ask the Lord what he wants to speak to you, and then ask for the grace to live it out.