For Reading Out Loud

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. (1 Timothy 4:13)

Not everyone can read out loud with confidence.

Whether it’s because English is not their first language, or they were discouraged from reading out when they were younger, there’s something unusual about some opening the scripture and reading them out loud. Add to that their lack of being accustomed to reading versions like the King James reading it and understanding it’s flow and meaning. It’s good reason to keep the reading to those who are more up for the role.

Plus, not being confident in reading as you stumble on the flow and the words it looks as though you’re letting things down for everyone else. You feel a little embarrassed as though it makes you look less smart if you cannot boldly and confidently. So it’s best to keep quiet and leave it to those who are more up for the role.

To this I say, with all due respect and consideration, keep on reading for reading out loud. There is something about reading the scriptures out and hearing them read out that can make the engagement with them something more than academic or studious. Depending on the text being read there’s an appreciation of the beauty of poetry, the tragedy of narrative, the uplift in victorious history, the awe and intrigue in prophetic utterance. Sure, read it in your head to yourself on your own and it can stimulate things in your mind to yourself. Yet among brothers ans sisters, hearing it and reading it out loud – it’s a refreshing practice. Something that can be done at any time in most locations, through most situations.

Don’t take my word for it, though, give it a go. Make a practice of it. Chuckle together as you make your way through those ancestral records of names you’ve never heard of and never will again. Yet as you mention them just consider where they are – in the records of history. Read it out loud. It doesn’t even need commentary afterwards.

Read it and let it speak for itself. Let it rest in the mind. Let it stir the heart on its own merits.

(Photo: Unsplash) 

For His Name’s Sake


C. L. J. Dryden


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