I used to think that reading the Bible alone, quietly, contemplatively, is the “right” way to have my daily devotions. And while there’s value in solitude, I was surprised to find there’s no mandated daily “quiet time” in Scripture.
In fact, the Bible says much more about reading God’s Word aloud in community than reading alone. From Moses to Joshua, from Nehemiah to Isaiah, the Israelites practiced the public reading of God’s Word. Jesus Himself read out loud from Isaiah 61 in the synagogue (Luke 4:17-21), and Paul exhorted Timothy to devote himself to the public reading of Scripture (1 Timothy 4:13).
And yet in recent generations, the emphasis on private devotions has oftentimes replaced public readings and, sadly, led to a decline in Biblical literacy and consistency. Recent studies reveal that 61% of Americans want to read their Bible more, yet only 23% actually see an improvement year over year.
I believe it’s time to reintroduce a new generation to this ancient practice, inviting our children to join us in reading the Bible aloud while continuing to cultivate our own quiet time with the Lord privately as well. I’ve started reading the Bible with my kids, and while I don’t do this every day, getting creative with my Bible reading time has been so rewarding—both for me and for my little ones too!
In our home, we call this practice "Bible and Breakfast," and it’s revolutionized our morning meals together. Here are a few ideas to help your family gather around God’s Word together:
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