What if I told you Amazon sells a book for $20 that can change your life?
I’m exaggerating somewhat, in that it’s how you read the book which can change your life. Also, there’s a good chance that you already own the book, so you can save yourself $20.
I’m talking about the Bible. But specifically, I’m talking about the Reader’s Gospels, which makes for a unique reading experience, and is excellent value:
The Reader’s Gospels, published by Crossway, is far and away the best edition of Sacred Scripture suited to spiritual reading. It employs the English Standard Version (ESV) translation, which is not my favourite, but on every other measure it is superior: the text spans the page in a single column paragraphed layout; the typeset is large (12pt) and easy to read; the paper is heavy. The book is hardcover, well bound, and includes a ribbon bookmark. And best of all, there are no chapter and verse numbers, no cross-references, and no footnotes — all of which conspire to distract from spiritual reading.
If you still need persuading on the book’s production value, take a look at this blogger’s review, which is crazy on detail.
Many of the saints recommend a daily reading of the Holy Gospels:
If you spend just five minutes every day, reading the Holy Gospels, you will read each Gospel several times a year. You will become intimately familiar with the life of Christ — so much so, that you will spontaneously relate the events of your own life to details recorded in the Gospel. In a similar way, when friends share their problems, or perhaps seek your advice, you can relate their situations to incidents in the Lord’s life and teaching. You may not necessarily preach that at them (often inadvisable), but it will certainly help you to pray for them. Daily reading of scripture is a great way to foster supernatural outlook.
Our task on earth is to “incarnate the Gospel” — to enflesh, in our own lives, the life of Christ. But to do that we have to frequently and constantly return to the source. After the Mass and holy communion, I think there is nothing in the Christian life more important than regular reading of the Gospels. Crossway’s ESV Reader’s Gospels makes that task a joy. (This is not a paid endorsement by the way!)
By reading the Gospels for 5 minutes each day, you will get to know our Lord better. It’s inevitable and inescapable, and the answer to everything. For to know Christ is to love him, and to love him is to serve him.