Do a sensory reading of Scripture

Wed., March 8

Dick Murray was a professor of Christian Education at the Perkins School of Theology in Texas; his best-known work, Teaching the Bible to Youth and Adults, was released decades ago, but still offers insight into making scripture come alive. (Professor Murray was one of the developers of the Disciple Bible Study.) This sensory reading method comes from his book and was used in the Disciple series.

For this exercise, we will use Psalm 42. First, open your bible and read the passage; next, listen to the passage with your eyes closed: you can find free, online audio files for scripture—one of my favorite versions is David Suchet’s (Masterpiece Theatre’s Hercule Poirot) narration of the New International Version on YouTube:

Listen once, to become accustomed to the voice and rhythm. Then, listen again with your eyes closed, noting the things you can experience with your senses: what things can you see? Hear? Smell? Touch? Taste? Record these in your journal along with your impressions of reading/listening with all your senses; does this way of experiencing scripture add to your understanding?

Go deeper: In your journal, write your answers to three of Professor Murray’s questions. 1) What does this passage say about God? 2) What does this passage say about humankind? 3) What does this passage say about the relationship between God and humankind?

Even deeper? Do an online search of “David Suchet Faith;” Suchet came to faith in Christ in his 40s through an experience of reading scripture in a hotel room. How did you come to faith?