There are times when we just sit and eat. Those moments when we are hungry, short on time, drive thru some fast food place and are simply wanting to get a bit of something to satisfy the hunger. There is a time and place for that kind of food.
But there are times when a special meal has been prepared to be enjoyed. Attention is given to the way the food has been prepared. The cook has thought long and hard about how best to prepare your favorite dishes. In preparing the meal, every detail gets attention. What should be served with the main dish? What beverage would pair well with the flavors to be enjoyed? How will the meal be presented? When the meal offered is the result of such purposeful attention, it is right and proper to slow down, eat attentively, enjoy every bite, experience a wonderful meal. It would be a disservice (and would short-change you!) if you just wolfed down the meal the way you down a grab-and-go burger.
That idea might serve us well when we come to Scripture. Listen to how Luke opened his Gospel:
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus, so that that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. ~ Luke 1:1–4
What is Luke telling us? He has carefully prepared a “meal” for his reader. He has been purposefully attentive to what ingredients are going to go into what he is serving up. He has carefully considered how best to present what he has put together. Like a great chef, he has been attentive in preparing what he is offering to those who read.
That being the case, perhaps it would be good for us to slow down, be attentive, enjoy every word and phrase so carefully assembled, and experience something fresh and refreshing in our reading of Scripture.