If you’re thinking and praying about doing more Bible reading in 2017 or even reading through the whole thing, or maybe a big chunk of it, then let’s do this thing together.
I’ve converted this blog a few times already. I’m changing it again. I thank you for your patience and interest, and, lately, your generosity in supporting my charity running of the New York Marathon. I’m pretty blown away by so many of you. I’m haunted by the feeling that I just don’t say “thank you” enough. So… thank you… really.
Now I want to try to offer something that is directly helpful. I want to encourage all of us to read our Bibles more. I know this sounds very “pastorish” of me. I guess it is, but there’s more to this than my vocation. Scripture is the unique touchstone of human experience that both explains and gives meaning to our brief lives. Of course, I don’t know what I would do in my day-to-day life without having a Bible (many Bibles in my case) within reach. Strangely, I grew up holding the majority view that the Bible was archaic and irrelevant. Worse than this, I thought some of it was just plain retrograde. Bad stuff. But then I read the thing. And I read it again. The religious people I knew kind of got in the way of the Bible for me. They pushed it like it was ice cream. You gotta try it. When you’re dying of thirst however, you don’t want ice cream, you want water. Water is the stuff of our physical lives. The Bible is spiritual water. You drink it. You swish it around slowly in your mouth. You gulp it down sometimes. You tell yourself you should drink more at other times. Water.
My new Blog title, “23 and me,” is based on the DNA testing service that advertises on TV. Sounds neat, a good way to learn some things about yourself, not unlike reading Scripture. In my case, this is my 23rd time reading through the Bible in a year. Maybe it will be your first, or the first time you attempted any kind of planned reading of Scripture. You’ll enjoy it and, on so many levels, you’ll be glad you did. Whether you are a churchgoer or not, whether you will understand or appreciate everything you read or not, you’ll be engaged in an activity that is so soul-expanding that every other part of your life will be touched by it. We call it the Word of God for good reason. He’s the point of the book. I said something at the Christmas Eve services this year that I’ve said pretty regularly in church concerning the Bible. Here’s the quote right from the manuscript…
Remember, under the supervision of the Holy Spirit, the Bible is a book written by people who have a problem with God, for people who have a problem with God, to show how God Himself provides the solution to our problem with God.
Amen. Use these last few days of 2016, if you haven’t already, to nail down your 2017 Bible reading plan. Decide what Bible you will use. Pray about what God wants you to learn about Him and yourself. God bless!