Listening To My Own Sermon

If you’ve heard any of the messages in Text Message, you know I’m big on reading the bible out loud. That’s how most of the books in the bible are designed to be experienced: audibly and in community.

Unfortunately, we read most of them silently and in isolation.

Anyway, I have been trying to heed my own advice.

Here are some things you’ll discover as you read the bible out loud. Even if you’re the only one in the room.

1. You’ll hear that Genesis 1 begs you not to read it as a science text book. It is something else altogether . . . and the beauty of that something else becomes as clear as the sound of your voice.

2. You’ll hear that Psalm 135 is a resposive reading of the kind you hear in churches with a liturgical tradition.

3. You’ll hear that Paul builds his argument in Romans around a series of rhetorical questions and emphatic answers — May it never be! — leading some modern scholars to conclude that the early church used multiple readers to play the parts of the different “characters.”

4. You’ll hear that Revelation is full of stopping, turning, and falling. It’s more about spiritual re-orientation than crystal ball gazing.

5. You’ll hear that the authors of biblical narrative are masters of understatement. My favorite example is 2 Samuel 11:27 in the aftermath of David’s adultery with Bathsheba and his murderous plot against her husband Uriah: “But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.” Ya think?!