Sunday, 16 October 2016

Me as an Amanuensis: Morning Devotional's Next Level?

Looking for something a little different for your early morning devotions? I may have an idea for you.

Years ago I remember working with a guy who had an interesting hobby, if I can call it that, of creating a handwritten copy of the entire New Testament. “Hobby” is maybe the wrong word. Regardless, his intent was to make a present of his personally handwritten New Testament to his child at his upcoming high school graduation.

Apparently this wasn’t the first time he did something like this; he had already done the same thing for another of his children and he planned on doing so for them all. If memory serves me correctly, he said he had four kids. Assuming he stuck with the task, that means four handwritten copies of the entire New Testament. I remember thinking, “How cool is that; not your typical grad present from Dad!”

I had forgotten about that until this past Thanksgiving when my son shared that he had undertaken a similar venture as a part of his early morning devotions. With a copy of his Greek Interlinear KJV/NIV Parallel New Testament (Yes, I can proudly say that my son is also a New Testament Greek scholar), he was handwriting the New Testament for himself. At the time he shared this with me, he was nearing the end of the Synoptic Gospels. Wow!

All of this got me thinking of how easy it is to get into a devotional rut (Lord knows, I’m there too) and that maybe I should consider doing likewise. So, after purchasing a nice faux-leather journal from Chapters, I dusted off my own Greek Interlinear KJV/NIV Parallel New Testament off the shelf, and got to work. At the time of this writing, I’ve only just completed the second chapter of Matthew, but I’m in no hurry. Conspicuously absent from my version is the lack of chapter and verse. I am, however, including the sectional headings as supplied by the translation I am copying. As an aside, perhaps this will help polish my own rusty Greek. Hmm.

The thing I noticed right off the bat was how this exercise was almost like reading the Scriptures again for the very first time. How so, you might ask? Well, unlike simply reading the Bible, reading it with the intent of copying it word for word requires a more careful and slower reading. This in turn has the added benefit of producing a deeper thought, and by default, study.

So, like the amanuensis of old who was employed to copy a manuscript by hand, and usually by dictation, welcome to my new (hopefully) daily 5:00am devotional routine. I’m looking forward to the exercise and to hearing what God may say through it along the way.

So here’s to trying something new. Who knows, it may be just the ticket to also kick-starting my blogging in a whole new direction. Peace and Blessings to you and yours, from a fellow sojourner in Christ.

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