Hear, Read, Mark, Learn and Digest

Once a year, if the date for Easter falls right, we Episcopalians get to start our worship this Sunday with my favorite Collect.

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

It dates to 1549 when the English Church finally started to get its act together.  For me it is an invitation to wallow about in scripture reading it, testing it, doubting it, praying it, meditating on it, and learning from the wisdom of ages past and ages present in full confidence that these words reveal and illuminate God’s truth in an abundance of ways that can never be exhausted to the end of time. 

I feel sorry for those who have been taught the exact and invariable meaning of the text, and for those who reject it all because of that.  How ill-nourished their lives must be.

During Morning Prayer today I got distracted by “the law of freedom” in the Letter of James.  Wandering away from the liturgy of the office I spent time in conversation with Ray Brown, Luke Johnson and God about that idea, and I have a many more questions to ask at another time.  But a good hour had passed on that alone and it was time to move on.  To be so richly fed so early in the morning is one of those blessings that are hard to explain, and I hope ones like it fall into your life also. 

2 thoughts on “Hear, Read, Mark, Learn and Digest”

  1. I agree – beautiful scripture coming up. I\’ve been working a little w/Lectio Divina and wouldn\’t you know this a.m. in Luke….up popped a sentence that I think I would have just looked over were I not concentrating on reading slowly, rereading, and praying over it. Will wonders never cease? That God of ours, even without dictating the text, he speaks clearly enough to us if only we will take a moment to Hear, read, etc.:)Nice post.

  2. it is so much more fun and inviting to wallow around…read, mark, learn, digest…than to have it crammed down your throat as invariable and exact! i love that the words and illumination \”can never be exhausted to the end of time.\”i agree with SS…nice post!

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