So the women at our church, not all of them but a lot more than I thought, are going to be reading through the Bible in 2011. I am really excited to see our big dream coming to fruition. Reading through the Bible with my friends this year has taught me so much and given me a much better understanding of just how big God is. Whenever I open His word, even if I am simply trying to just get the reading done so I am not too far behind, God has met me. I don't always find some deep meaning or word of encouragement or reproach. Often it is more a feeling of peace that comes from reading God's word, from being obedient and allowing whatever words I read that day to wash over me even if I didn't really remember most of what I was reading. I want the women at my church to meet God in His word daily because I know it will change them. It is a good thing.
But in the planning for this big dream, I have been surprised by the opposition we received. I don't think they would think of it as opposition but instead as concern or guidance. Whenever we talked about reading through the Bible we heard, "what are you doing to give background?" Or "what study materials are you using along with the Bible?" It seems that these last few months we have had to convince different groups of people that the Bible is enough. That while having background, knowing the audience and setting of the different books of the Bible, helps us better understand the story, the Bible really does give us all the background we need. The Bible is God's word. Any supplemental material while helpful and for a history lover like me is fun, is not the actual word of God. And I really believe that the word of God is enough.
We are showing some videos that teach about different parts of the Bible. We will be encouraging people to read the book introductions in their study Bibles. But "studying" the Bible was never our intent. Our intention was always to get women to read the Bible, for themselves. Just one woman and God reading the words He gave us. Our hope is that the women will be meeting God in His word daily. Because when we show up, God shows up.
So staring January 1st I will be again reading the Bible in one year. This time chronologically which I am really excited to do. I would love to take the time to figure it all out myself, but why reinvent the wheel when a great resource has already done it for me. Here is the link to the schedule we will be using. Would you like to join me?