We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Reading Aloud

Did you ever see a movie based on a 19th century setting where the host has one of the daughters read a chapter from a book? What has happened to this family and social activity of reading aloud?

Children who have many opportunities to listen and read tend to become skilled thinkers, speakers and writers. The New York Times published an article by Verlyn Klinkenborg (May 16, 2009), on the lost art of reading aloud, saying, “… listening aloud, valuable as it is, isn’t the same as reading aloud. Both require a great deal of attention. But one of the most basic tests of comprehension is to ask someone to read aloud from a book. It reveals far more than whether the reader understands the words. It reveals how far into the words–and the pattern of the words–the reader really sees.

Reading aloud recaptures the physicality of words. To read with your lungs and diaphragm, with your tongue and lips, is very different than reading with your eyes alone. The language becomes a part of the body, which is why there is always a curious tenderness, almost a sensational quality, in those 18th- and 19th-century literary scenes where a book is being read aloud in mixed company. The words are not mere words. They are the breath and mind, perhaps even the soul, of the person who is reading.”

As I ponder this connection between reading aloud and a child’s intellectual development, I am convinced that reading and hearing the Word of God is the foundation for one’s spiritual development.

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). I think I can now see the connection when Jesus read the words of Isaiah aloud when he visited the temple. Perhaps reading the Scriptures and other great books aloud in our homes and churches should have a rebirth–it may lead to a rebirth and awakening of our souls.

Published in: on December 23, 2010 at 4:52 am  Leave a Comment  

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