Thursday, January 6, 2011
Reading through the Old Testament
I've preached approximately 800 sermons and in all of them I either mentioned or explored a Scripture passage; I've taken seminary classes on the Bible; I have at least forty commentaries on the Bible in my office; I read the Bible almost every day in my personal devotions; I've taught Bible Studies; I've read through the Bible cover to cover at least twice. And I still find myself learning more about the Bible when I read it.
As I made some New Year's Resolutions for 2011 I decided to read through the Old Testament this year.
I've done this before. In 2006 I read the Bible cover to cover; in 2007 I read the Old Testament; in 2008 I read the New Testament. I tried to read Calvin's Institutes in 2009, but lost interest halfway through. In 2010 I was too busy starting a new church to thing about a reading plan.
I'm not any less busy this year, but just as needy to grow in my own personal relationship with God.
I know that the Old Testament is scary to some people. At times God acts in confusing ways; the people of Israel often went on killing sprees; the laws in Exodus and Leviticus seem out-of-place for life in 2011.
But still—my spirit has already been refreshed in 2011 through what I've read.
Just this morning I read chapters 15-18 of Genesis. I was touched by the compassion that God showed Hagaar. I resonated with the questions that Abram had for God about if and when his wife Sarai was going to have a baby. I discovered—even though I've read this story countless times—that it was 25 years between the time that God promised Abram a son and Sarah bore Isaac. Even though God had made a promise, the promise too a while to happen. This gives me a deepened appreciation for patience.
All of this—in just four chapters of Genesis!!
If you—this blog reader—would like to read through the Old Testament, send me an E-mail. The address can be found via our church's web site—colpres.org. The reading plan I'm following involves reading two or three chapters a day. I'm sure I'll get behind—but I'll just look for times to get caught up. If I get too far behind, I'll just skip ahead to the place of the current plan.
If you join me in reading the Old Testament I would love to have conversation via E-mail about what we are reading. Reading the Bible is always done better in community.
The Scriptures are a treasure that teach us about God, humanity, the world, and ourselves. I'm excited to learn more through reading the Old Testament in 2011. Why don't you join me?
Posted by Chainoflakesncd at 6:58 AM