“Compare Scripture with Scripture. False doctrines, like false witnesses, agree not among themselves.” –William Gurnall
We practice the reading of the Scriptures during the worship service because of the command and exhortation of Paul to Timothy, who wrote, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture…” (1 Timothy 4:13). Scripture permeates the whole of our worship. The call to worship is often a creed or confession based on Scripture. Sometimes, the call to worship is a responsive reading that is simply the congregation reciting Scripture. Then we have a Scripture reader. The worship songs are either Scripturally sound or portions of the Scripture song back to God. The celebration of the Lord’s Supper includes a reading of one of the traditional Scripture passages. The sermon is drawn from a Scripture text. The benediction that Charles gives is from the Scripture. Is it any wonder that Christians are often called a people of the book?
Erik Raymond, in his helpful article on best practices for reading the Scripture in public, asks an important question, “how should we prepare to read the Scripture in public worship?” We have many excellent Scripture readers in our church family. But what if a new member wanted to volunteer to be a Scripture reader? What advice should be given to the new Scripture reader? Here is a short list of suggestions:
- Read the assigned passage during the week. Generally, I try to get the assigned verses to the reader by Wednesday. Once you have received the passage, take your time with it. Read it aloud several times. Print off a copy of the passage and carry it with you. Are there any words that are difficult to pronounce? Go to esv.org and listen to the audio. Pastor Charles and I are almost always available if you want to ask a question about the passage.
- Pray about your reading the passage in worship. Ask the Lord to give you joy as you participate in the act of worship. Pray and meditate on the passage. Become familiar with it.
- Use a bookmark so you can find the passage on Sunday morning. If you have trouble reading small type then print it off in a larger font size to facilitate reading the text. Or if using an electronic device, expand the page for easy riding. I swiped this advice from someone else. Lol.
- Drink a little water before your reading or right before the service if you get nervous and have a little bit of dry mouth. No one will be upset with you for doing this.
Next week, we will conclude our discussion of reading the Scripture in public with a few additional helps. Have a blessed week and we will see you on Sunday. D.V.
Love in Christ,