This may be a shocker to some of you but, I must confess. I love to read. I love to read non-fiction mostly, and I really love to read about parenting, spiritual formation, family, women’s issues, and leadership. Many of the books come from some sort of Christian perspective, but I always include some that aren’t.
Can I tell you what I don’t like reading very much? The Bible.
I mean, in a way I like it. I like learning about God’s character and I love God, so you would think it’d be a natural 1+1=2 equation. But…
I sometimes think it’s boring. I remember being mesmerized by the Scriptures during high school and college. I’ve read it several times straight through and have learned a lot of life-changing things about God. But these days, I kind of have a “been there, done that” mentality.
I sometimes think it’s difficult to understand (and y’all, I’ve been to seminary!). Once I hit the prophets I get confused and it just is a lot of work to understand a simple passage. Did I mention that I have a strong dislike for poetry (mostly because it’s hard for me to understand)? This doesn’t make for a good Bible reading experience for several books of the Bible.
I sometimes think it’s frustrating to read because while I’m reading, I hear all of these voices of past teachers and their take on particular passages. Some of these teachers were healthy and provided useful interpretations. Others were not so healthy and I (or others) have been wounded by their interpretations. I guess you could say that I’ve been going through a deconstruction period, which at times makes Scripture reading difficult for me.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking and praying a lot lately, asking God to give me the courage to approach the Scriptures with fresh eyes, excitement, and a thirst for getting to know Him better. As Charles Yu said this morning during our church gathering, “God doesn’t love us more when we read the Bible, but we end up loving God more.” While I love God, I want to love Him more.
So, I have an idea. Will you join me in reading the Bible in 2015? It’s not about accomplishing or obligations or checking it off a daily list (so breath that sigh of relief!). No one is going to be keeping track of what you read or don’t read. No one is going to guilt trip you when you miss a week because you chose to binge watch something on Netflix after the kids go to bed instead of reading the Bible. Instead, this is about “making room” in our minds, hearts and lives for a fresh look at God through reading the Scriptures.
I’m creating a Facebook group so that friends near and far can join in, if they want, and where we can encourage one another, throw out questions, comments, outside resources, etc at our leisure. If you’re up for it, I’d love companions on this Scripture journey because I might not finish it if I do it by myself! As it gets closer, I’ll offer up a reading plan and some other resources that will hopefully help us to learn and love God more this year. I also am brainstorming ways for this community to be a place where we can share our gifts with one another as we read through. My goal is for there to at least be 2 other people in the group with me (and hey, I made Jake join so looks like I only have 1 more to go!).
Here’s to Journeying through Scripture in 2015!