As we close the book on 2021, I’m using our newsletter to issue an invitation and challenge to each of you to join me in doing something together as a family in 2022.
The something I’m inviting you to do is to take up the spiritual discipline of daily Bible reading, with the intent of reading all of God’s word this year. Click here for daily reading plan!
The Bible is replete with passages heralding the virtues of reading God’s word, and I could make this a tedious article by taking you through a raft of them. Instead, I’ll resort to a well-used marketing slogan and simply commend you to just do it!
There are lots of different reading plans, and whether you’ve found one online, or you have your own you want to try, or you choose the one enclosed with this newsletter, just do it!
Whether your preference is digital, audio, or old-fashioned ink-on-paper, just do it!
Whether you are an AM reader, a PM reader, or an on-the-run reader, just do it!
And here are few hints to help keep your motivation up, and make it less of a chore and more of a quest:
- Find a partner who will keep tabs on you; the two of you can encourage one another.
- As you read, have a theme or a thread that you trace, and make marginal notes as you encounter your theme. Here are a few that I have used:
- Three days—It is remarkable how many instances of ‘three days’ occurs throughout both the OT and NT. It starts with Abraham’s journey to Moriah with Isaac. (“On the third day Abraham looked up…”)
- Bread and Wine—again, you will be amazed if you mark ‘B & W’ in your margin wherever they are together. Widen your field by allowing ‘grain’ or ‘flour’ as stand-ins for bread; ‘cup’ or ‘grape’ for wine.
- Names (or attributes) of God—build a personal lexicon of who God is by compiling a list.
- Be ready for days in which you finish your chapters and are left wondering, “Why is that even in the Bible?” Your question is not blasphemous; it’s not even impertinent. You open the door of learning by developing curiosity, and the fact that you’ve formed a question indicates you’ve opened the door. Be patient as the Spirit prepares you for the answer.
- There will be a lot that you do not understand. Read all of it with the expectation that someday a light will come on, there will be a grand illumination of all things, and you will stand in awe and exclaim, “Now I get it; now I understand!” That time might come before the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, or it may come after. Until it does, live with the expectation that there is more to know, and that when we are ready the Spirit will lead us into all truth.
Looking forward to a year of discovery and growth with you!
FROM THE ELDERS—Jeff Sommerville