2020 Is the Year of the Bible!
I’m hereby declaring 2020 to be the Year of the Bible. Let’s read the bible together this year. Yes, the whole bible. Straight through. In a year.
It’s a lot easier than you think, especially when you break it into pieces with specific goals each day. The schedule I’ve created begins on Sunday, January 5 and ends on Thursday, December 5. I’ve also structured it so that we’ll never go more than three weeks before having a week off to take a break or catch up. I know that’s been the biggest problem I’ve had every time I’ve tried to read the bible in its entirety: inevitably life gets in the way and I fall behind. Frequent breaks allow for falling behind and prevent it from becoming fatal to the effort.
How Will This Work?
Each Saturday on this blog I’ll publish the coming week’s reading schedule (reading weeks begin on Sundays). Occasionally I’ll also post a little background on some of the upcoming readings if I think it might be helpful. I’ll also include a link to my Facebook Author’s Page, where I’ll post some observations about the readings as I go. I invite you to do the same. Let’s have a conversation!
Why Should We Read the Bible Straight Through?
Those of us who attend worship on a regular, occasional, or sporadic basis encounter a few short readings at each service. Some are familiar, especially the ones that are read during certain seasons like Christmas and Easter. But they’re in isolation. Reading the bible straight through allows us to encounter our favorite readings unexpectedly in their original context, which can bring us greater meaning and insight. When we read the bible straight through we also encounter texts we’re not familiar with, which can help to deepen our faith as we deepen our familiarity with our foundational scripture.
Many Christians have not read the whole bible. It’s a daunting task. But if we’re going to claim to follow Christ, who is the center of God’s saving work throughout all creation, then we need to know how our faith ancestors experienced God working in and through human history. The bible is the record of that experience, inspired by the very God we seek. (I do believe the bible is the inspired word of God, but I do not believe it is the literal and infallible Word of God. People who disagree with me on that are welcome to participate in the discussions, but I insist that everything remain civil.)
Prerequisites for Participating
Just your interest! You don’t need to be a biblical scholar to read the bible and discuss it with others. My Facebook page is for reflections and observations. Maybe you’ll read a story you’d heard before, but didn’t know it was in the bible. Share that! Maybe you’ll come across a troubling text that makes you question why God would do or allow such a thing. Ask! I won’t have all the answers, but there’s value in discussing the questions. You don’t even have to identify as a Christian. If you’re curious about what the bible actually says, then join in. Your perspective is helpful for those of us who take a lot of what we think we know for granted.
So please like my Facebook Author’s Page, and watch that space and this one for weekly reading assignments. Most reflections, observations, and discussions will happen on Facebook. However if something really inspires me, I’ll write a more in-depth reflection about it here. So please subscribe to this blog, too.