Every once in awhile, I get a fresh reminder of how the division of the bible into chapters and verses can actually get in the way of our encounter with Scripture.
Case in point: some time ago, as part of preparation for a Life Group Bible Study I lead, I read Acts 10-15 in one sitting. That was the assignment in the curriculum and since I love to follow rules, that’s what I did.
Five chapters at once.
Normally, I’d read Acts 10, pat myself on the back for getting my daily bible reading out of the way and then go about my business. Then the next day, I’d read Acts 11. Same pattern, different chapter.
Except in that method, I’d miss the continuity of the story because in the 24 hours since I last read (doing my Morning Devotion, remember?), I’d forget where the narrative was taking me.
But this week’s experience was completely different. I took no notes. I paid no attention to chapter division. I simply read five consecutive chapters in the book of Acts as if I was reading an adventure story.
And in so doing I was much better able to understand the flow of the material, the motivations of the lead characters, and, in this case, the advancement of the church.
Ignoring chapters and verses certainly isn’t the only way to have an encounter with the bible.
Yet I suspect it’s a way that helps you best connect with what the bible’s authors were truly trying to communicate.