Our pastor began a new sermon series a couple of weeks ago on the book of Isaiah. In his first message he exhorted every member of our church to memorize (with the goal of being able to recite aloud) Isaiah 52:13-53:12. He’s pretty doggone serious about it. And I’m glad he is.
When I was a new believer, I committed Paul’s prayers in Ephesians 1 and Ephesians 3 to memory. I have to admit, to my shame, that those are the only extended passages of Scripture that I’ve ever memorized, even though I’ve read and studied the Bible for years. It’s about time I did something to correct that.
It’s just too bad I’ve waited so long. My mind doesn’t work nearly as well as it did 30+ years ago, when I memorized Paul’s prayers for the Ephesians. But I still intend to take my pastor’s exhortation to heart. You can pray for me if you’d like. I’m sure I’ll need it.
I realized earlier today that there’s an interesting connection between this challenge from our current pastor and the church where our former pastor, Tom Geers, is now a member. When brother Tom retired, he moved to Durham, NC, to be near his children and grandchildren. He joined First Baptist Church, Durham, where Andy Davis is the pastor.
Andy Davis is also serious about memorizing Scripture. And he’s serious about helping other people do the same. He’s written the most complete guide to extended Scripture memorization I’ve ever seen. According to our former pastor, Andy’s already memorized almost all of the New Testament using the method he devised and describes in An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture.
One final thought before I go. Some of you have seen the videos of Ryan Ferguson reciting several chapters of the Bible from memory. Maybe someday you’ll see someone from our church on YouTube giving just such a dramatic recitation of this passage from Isaiah! (Or maybe not.)