One of my favorite teachers had a great line: If youre not struggling with the Bible, youre not reading it close enough. There are a few ways one can take that, of course, but I prefer the most obviousthe Bible dismantles many safe hiding places.
Indeed, we who are most familiar with the Bible are the most practiced in hiding from God as we read our Bibles. I am so, so guilty of reading the Bible like I run through Butler Park: there in body, but not in spirit. I run on autopilot most of the time, familiar with the road and landscape, and the Bible has that same affect on me. Like you, I anticipate each curve in Genesis, the hill in Psalms, and the straight stretch of the Gospels. Ive been around the Bible long enough that I have to work to not guess every paragraphs ending.
Familiarity can easily become a way that we hide from God. Instead of reading with an air of expectation, we read with I know, I know, humming in our brain. Its easy to hide from the sharper threats of Abrahams agonies, our need to ask Jobs questions, and our resemblance to the hypocrites who wanted more Bible trivia than actual answers from Jesus. A simple reading of the Gospel reveals that Jesus was usually trying to convince the faithful of his ministry. That would be you and me.
I ask that you take up this challenge to read the Bible through in a year. More specifically, read it like a book you dont know.
Use a new translation.
Dont jump ahead, dont presume anything.
Question things, take notes, and bring your questions to church.
Dont hide from the hard spots in the Bible.
Above all, dont hide your hard spots from the God who is waiting for you in the Bible.
If we all do this, it could be an interesting year.
The Bible in Twelve Months
As weve been stressing the past few months, we begin a thru-the-Bible reading and sermon series in August.
Reading schedules are available in the church and through occasional mailings (10 week schedules) to help you complete your weekly readings. You will find that this six-day per week schedule is very, very manageable, not to mention interesting. There is great diversity in the weekly round. We encourage you to walk forward with this opportunity. In fact, you might want to read through with a different translation than you normally use.
The Sunday sermons will arise from the weekly readings, so even the preacher has to join the effort. There are few things more productive, yet spiritually challenging, than dealing with the whole Bible. You will regularly find sections you do not remember and phrases that seem to have a new voice. God waits for us in these surprises. It is even OK to wrestle with the Bible and with God. In fact, we recommend it.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank You !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Vbs WAS A GRAND EVENT THIS YEAR, AND WE HAVE MANY GRAND ADULTS AND YOUTH TO THANK FOR THE EFFORT. We enrolled 111 kids and now follow this work with home visits to their families. Grand!
Serving in August
An October Reminder
Our Fall Revival is October 14-17 with Chris Platte (Crestwood Baptist Church). Our regular round of Sunday AM at church and Sunday PM at Butler for the bean supper blast is in order. Well bring the musicians out again, not to mention the Pesky Youth vs Adults kickball rematch.
Additionally, our church hosts the Whites Run Baptist Annual Meeting Oct. 12/13.