(Friday, November 17)

I’ve been writing daily reflections on Scripture, sometimes just for myself and sometimes sharing them, for the last nine years. Today I felt it’s time to reflect on *why* I do this, and *why* I share it most of the time. It’s time, because I lately have discouraging thoughts about it, when on social media any post about Scripture engenders the least interest, as compared with posts about politics, church-politics, or something(s) more trivial.

For myself, in this Information Age I need a reliably-nourishing source of information or “news source,” which keeps me sane amidst the rest of the words that are pouring out on us in the 24/7 news-cycle. A bit of prayerful Scripture reading at the start of my day, with some reflection *and writing* on how it practically applies to my life (the writing part is important to me, just because I tend to remember better the things I write down), grounds me within my basic frame of reference. I still get emotionally struck by the “other” news, from which I do not think it would be responsible for me to stick my head in the sand. But God’s word softens that blow, because the air around me is different, when His voice is the first to which I lend my ear every morning. I have less fear, because faith chases fear away. And God’s word *orders* the chaos, which is the scariest thing about random or disordered information.

I started to share these reflections, because as a liturgiologist (or one who studies the history and meaning of church-services and traditions), after some years of teaching Liturgical Studies I noticed that it was useless to try to explain Orthodox Christian liturgical traditions to those who do not have a firm grasp of Scripture. And by “firm grasp,” I mean, engaged in Scripture as part of daily life. The symbolic language and whole point of the liturgical rites is so intimately tied to Scripture, that the whole point of liturgy and of Tradition as a whole will remain unclear to anyone not actively engaged in the word of God. At the same time, I noticed that I myself can’t encourage anyone to become engaged in Scripture, if I don’t try to show *why* and *how* it applies to our lives in the here and now; and to show that it is a rewarding adventure, to internalize the word of God and “keep it,” as a precious antidote to all our daily chaos, both in our church and beyond it.

So, this is why I do it, and why I’ll keep doing it, for myself and anyone interested. Lord, have mercy! And thank You for Your daily reminders.