A week ago yesterday, my honey and I had the opportunity to attend the AFC Championship game at Arrowhead stadium.
It was loud.
It was cold.
It was fun … until the end when the home team lost. This is NOT a post about that loss.
After walking with the crowds to our car, and waiting to exit the parking lot, our exit took us a different way than expected. A way we had not traveled before.
No problem, right. We have google maps.
Except when we don’t.
(For some reason our cell service was spotty, even with three out of four bars.)
So, we began by just following the crowd – I can hear my parents telling me that is not a good idea. I probably told my own kids that – oops. But we really didn’t have a choice. (That excuse would not have worked with Big Charlie).
Finally, the map in my app loaded. Hooray! But, it still wouldn’t let me use it to find the way home (silly “poor signal”). Boo! So what did I do?
I read the map! Crazy, right! Who does that?
(Besides Dora – is she even still around?)
Well, I love reading maps. As a child on family road trips, I always enjoyed having a map to follow. Living overseas after college – I had to be able to use a map to get around my city. When I worked at Princeton University, I had to use a map to get from Richardson, TX to Princeton, NJ. I also drove from NJ to Daytona Beach, FL to work with students one summer – I had to have a map to plan my stops and to get to where I needed to be.
So, after that tragic Chiefs overtime loss (oh yeah, I am not writing about that), I read the map to get us to the highway we knew would take us home. It was an adventure – right up my alley.
I do think people should be map “literate” – have the basic ability to read a map. However, as I thought about our map adventure, it made me think of something else I think people should be able to read – the Bible.
I grew up going to Bible teaching churches, yet I was not taught how to read the Bible. I was encouraged to read my Bible but not really taught how to do it.
I think there is an assumption that if a person can read, they can read the Bible. Well, yes and no. Yes, a person who is able to read can read the words in the Bible. However, just reading the words does not equal knowing and understanding the Bible. True literacy is more than just reading; it is reading with understanding. I know how to read Spanish (I have the capacity to pronounce the words correctly), yet I would not understand the majority of what I read. This is my simplistic explanation of what it might look like to be Biblically illiterate. From my own personal experience and observation, I think many church attenders and followers of Christ are just that – Biblically illiterate.
I realize that a number of times, I have been guilty of encouraging people to “get into the Word” without teaching them how. For that I am sorry. I have mentioned more than once on this site the importance of reading God’s Word – and I will continue to do so.
The Bible is a gift. God reveals Himself to us in it. To know Him, we have to read His word – we have to read it rightly, in context.
I want to point you to a resource to help you in the reading of scripture. Our church has a series on their blog called “Feasting on the Word.” This ongoing series speaks to the importance of Biblical Literacy, walks the reader through an outline of the Bible, and then speaks to how we should read different genres in God’s Word. My explanation falls short of how beneficial I believe this series to be, so I want to encourage you to take some time and begin reading through it. The first post in the series can be found here.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)