What was the last good book that you read from cover to cover? What was it about the book that kept you engaged? Did you read the book for pure enjoyment or was it required reading for work or school? Did you read it by yourself or was it read by others at the same time? Was it fiction or non-fiction? Was type of book was it – action, drama, romance, etc.? We read books for different reasons.
Now, let me ask you this question… When did you last read the Good Book from cover to cover? Some people refer to the Bible as the Good Book. Many people have never read this book from cover to cover. Most people only hear excerpts from it during worship or in Bible studies. There are many sections of the Bible that many people have never heard read or read themselves. The Bible is filled with all types of stories, after all it is a collection of smaller books that were written by many people over a very long period.
We believe that the Scriptures are “the inspired word of God.” That means that the various writers and those who penned the oral traditional stories were inspired by God to record what was written, much the same as when a pastor prepares a sermon. This collection of stories and writings is the salvation story for the world. When we read from the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit enlightens us and inspires us. Through the readings, God comes closer to us, and our faith is strengthened.
When we pick up any other book, except maybe a textbook, we do not skip around when we read it. We would never consider reading chapter 3, then jumping to chapter 10, and then skim chapter 1. It would make it challenging to follow. We would miss important developments in the story and background information. The same can be said with the Bible. We might know certain sections quite well, but we do not understand their true importance or depth of meaning because we are unfamiliar with other sections.
Faith is what drives the mission of the Church. Without a strong faith that is grounded in Scripture, it makes the many tasks of ministry very difficult and sometimes impossible to accomplish. There are many new ministry tasks that our congregation will encounter in the next year and beyond. At times, we will need to step out in faith, or take a leap of faith, even when conventional secular thinking advises against it.
I invite you to join me in reading the Bible from cover to cover. We will start in Genesis and end in Revelation. I have developed a list of daily readings that will enable us to read the Good Book within one year. Like other books, there will be exciting sections and sections that will be difficult to hold your attention. However, it is important to not give up or avoid reading when encountering a challenging part. You can read daily if your schedule permits, or you can combine readings and a couple of times a week. There’s lots of flexibility in how you can read.
I am also scheduling a weekly check-in where we will gather either by Zoom or in-person to have a general conversation about what we read. The check-in is not meant to be an academic discussion of the reading, but a time for us to explore how the text speaks to our individual and congregational faith journeys. Some of the topics of discussion might be:
- Was this familiar or new to you?
- Where do you hear God speaking to you or us through this reading?
- What did you like or dislike about this section?
- A history of the text and connection to other biblical texts.
The weekly check-ins will take place on Mondays from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. You may join by Zoom or join me at the church. We will try to do this in a hybrid format in case some want to join online and others want to gather in-person. The Zoom link and phone information is:
Meeting ID: 841 8897 0606
+1 647 558 0588 Canada
Even if you did not get a chance to read everything , please still join us for the check-in.
I am attaching PDF listings of the daily readings for November and December. On each page is a link to an online Bible, with many translations. I will use the New Living Translation, but you are free to use whatever translation that you are accustomed to reading. Please note that I will not be participating in the check-ins on November 21 & 28, as I will be on vacation. There will also be no check-in on the Boxing Day holiday, December 26.
I am looking forward to this journey with you.
Peace in Christ,
Daily Readings for November
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Daily Readings for December
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