Have you ever read the Holy Bible cover to cover? If you didn’t finish, how far did you get? Were you trying to do this alone or with a group? Would you like to enter a challenge with your brothers and sisters of Trinity to read the bible in a year’s time?
We know that the Holy Bible is the central, written basis and resource for understanding our faith and for living our lives as Christians. We know the importance of the gospel stories in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We hear the scripture readings on Sundays and some attend bible studies during the week. Yet many of us have little knowledge of all the other books included in the scriptures between Genesis and Revelation. There is so much we are missing that could enrich our faith as individuals and as a congregation when we don’t know the wealth of the scriptures throughout the Holy Bible. Martin Luther said, “The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid.”
I’m challenging myself and our community of Trinity Lutheran to enter a year of bible reading. I think this will be fun and inspirational to do together as individuals and families of the congregation. Together we will experience the scriptures in a new way, become aware of the depth and breadth of the entire, great salvation story of our faith, grow in our spiritual relationship with God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and support one another in our growth as disciples of Christ. Won’t you join me in this adventure with the Holy Scriptures?
Trinity’s Bible in a Year Challenge will begin between August 1 and September 1, 2021 and end on September 1, 2022. Find more helpful resources on the Bible Challenge Resource Page.
Here’s how you can get involved in the adventure:
1. Sign up to participate. You may do this through the email you receive, by calling the office, or by putting your name on the sign-up sheet at the church.
2. Choose a version of the Bible that is comfortable for you to read. You may use your own bible or an online version of the Bible. Four popular translations are: New Revised Standard Version (used in our worship services), New International Version, Today’s English Version (Good News Bible)and New American Standard Version. Need help making your choice? Call, text, or email me.
3. Choose a reading plan. You may download or pick up a print version of the Thematic-Bible_reading_Plan-365_days I’m using. I’ve chosen a plan for youth and adults to use that is thematic or connective in nature. The goal is to make as many associations as possible between the different parts of Scripture while still reading individual books of the Bible from start to finish. You are welcome to choose another plan if you desire. There is, also, a BibleReadingPlan-Families, bible-in-a-year reading plan that parents may use with their younger ones.
4. Choose the date to begin reading: August 1 or September 1 (or a day in between), depending on what works best for your schedule. The idea is for you to complete the entire bible exactly one year from when you start. The goal is for all of us to complete the challenge by September 1, 2022.
5. Choose a particular time of day to do your reading: You may choose morning before daily activities begin or evening before going to bed. For families you can choose a mealtime or another time when you are together. It’s best to schedule your reading time on your personal calendar so it will become a daily event or habit to remember.
6. Keep track of your progress: You can check off each completed daily reading on the plan or on a calendar.
7. Connect with and support others: Check in regularly on the “TLC Bible in a Year Challenge Group” on Facebook or join the monthly Zoom chat. Regular check-ins are opportunities to support one another in your aim to complete the challenge. Check-ins also provide opportunities to share your reading progress, what you are learning or re-learning about the story of our faith, questions you may have, and how this experience is enhancing your life, spirit and relationship with the Lord.
Tips on Reading the Bible Daily
1. Start reading the Bible today — there is no better time, and there’s no reason to wait.
2. Set aside a specific time each day. Set your schedule and then stick to it. Mornings are great, but feel free to use any time that works consistently for you.
3. Say a short prayer to God before you begin, asking the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding, then be refreshed by the words you read!.
4. When reading as a family, take turns reading the passages for the day. If you have time, take a few minutes after reading to talk about what was read. Make note of questions that arise to share when you check in with the Trinity group on Facebook or Zoom.
5. Read the Bible for the sake of learning, not simply to accomplish your next reading. Feel free to write a few notes or mark interesting or meaningful passages in your bible. Write down questions to ask when you check in with the TLC Bible-in-a Year Challenge Group.
6. Practice forgiveness and grace for yourself if you happen to miss a day or two or even if you feel you need to stop.
This challenge is meant to bring joy and inspiration to your life, and not be a burden.