A recent trip to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, England, to see Hamlet prompted me to consider how much we really comprehend when we read, see or hear the Word of God.
The first half commenced with Hamlet, Prince of Denmark returning home from university, discovering instability in his family. A welcome interval drink, a blow of fresh summer air outside overlooking the river Avon, and soon we were watching with interest the second half. The final words were uttered as this well-known tragedy drew to a close. Our attention then turned to an announcement from the theatre's education department. We were invited to join a post-production discussion.
Members of the cast and creative team arrived on stage, having quickly changed from their costumes. In an informal atmosphere, we engaged in an informative question and answer session, relating to scene choices, props and how the actors approached rehearsals and live audiences. It was then that a deeper understanding of the play began to be pieced together and take shape in our minds. Questions and queries were unraveled, as the details of Shakespeare’s elaborate plot was revealed.
When you read the Bible are you inclined to skip over certain passages you find difficult or think may not be important for you, or do you read more of what you have underlined months ago?
According to Thomas A Kempis, for Scripture reading to be worthwhile, you should read with humility, simplicity and faith. There is life, healing and power in His Word. Allow God to speak to you personally as you study. Try to keep focussed and concentrate, away from distractions, if only for a few minutes each day. It is good to keep a journal of your thoughts and prayers so that you can look back, and see how God has been walking with you, over time.
Do ask for help. Considering the church, Paul wrote: ‘each part ... helps the other parts grow’ (Ephesians 4:16, NLT). Maybe join a Bible discussion group, where you can tackle a portion of Scripture and learn with others. As it says in Hebrews 10:25 ‘let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another’.
Finally, just as we received greater revelation about Hamlet from the actors themselves, I urge you to ask God in His mercy to reveal the bigger picture of His eternal glory, and as The Message Bible puts it, pray that ‘God will clear your blurred vision’ (Philippians 3:15-16).
Prayer: Father God, please help me to discover afresh the truth, richness and relevance of the Bible. May Your Holy Spirit guide me to the right reading or listening plan for me. Please speak to me as I study Your Word. Amen.
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