Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. —1 Timothy 4:13
Of course we of this generation cannot know by firsthand experience how the Word of God was read in other times. But it would be hard to conceive of our fathers having done a poorer job than we do when it comes to the public reading of the Scriptures. Most of us read the Scriptures so badly that a good performance draws attention by its rarity.
It could be argued that since everyone these days owns his own copy of the Scriptures, the need for the public reading of the Word is not as great as formerly. If that is true, then let us not bother to read the Scriptures at all in our churches. But if we are going to read the Word publicly, then it is incumbent upon us to read it well. A mumbled, badly articulated and unintelligent reading of the Sacred Scriptures will do more than we think to give the listeners the idea that the Word is not important….
We should by all means read it, and we should make the reading a memorable experience for those who hear.
Lord, as we read the Scriptures publicly, we are both declaring the very Word of God Himself and drawing people into an experience of worship. Help us never to take that lightly or address it carelessly. Amen.