Why is it that most “non-liturgical” churches (i.e. Baptist, non-denominational, etc.) ignore the Bible in their services. We defend inerrancy. We promote expository preaching. We pride ourselves in not being tied down to the lectionary. So we end up reading (at the most) a small paragraph of Scripture, normally the sermon text. Truth be told, on any given Sunday you could walk into nearly any mainline or liberal church and hear way more Scripture read aloud in one service than in most conservative evangelical churches. Don’t get me wrong, a traditional use of the lectionary is no replacement for God-centered, Christ-exalting, Spirit-empowered preaching.
The absence of intentional and substantial Scripture readings has created a vacuum that has been quickly filled with the new sacrament called music. So instead of actually hearing from God himself, we spend 15-20 minutes singing about the concept of knowing and hearing from God (“I want to know You, I want to hear Your voice”). If we and our congregations want to know God and want to hear His voice, I’ve got a idea that I heard from a guy named Paul:
“Give attention to the public reading of Scripture” (1 Timothy 4:13)!