Dear St. Elizabeth’s,
The season of Lent is rapidly approaching, beginning with Ash Wednesday on March 1—a week away.
There are basically four ways in which we nourish our Christian faith and grow spiritually. They are regular worship, prayer, ministry, and Bible reading; not necessarily in that order. Of those four, Bible reading may be the most important. Why? In respect to worship, Bible reading informs us as to whom we are worshiping. Bible reading likewise informs us as to whom we are praying as well as teaches us how to pray. Bible reading not only tells us how minister, but where we might be called to minister.
For these reasons, Bible study is essential to our walk in the Lord. When we consider what the world is pumping into our hearts and minds and not to our benefit, it behooves in so many ways to counteract that influence with reading the Bible, the Word of God. For that reason, I want to strongly encourage you to start reading your Bible this Lent if you not already doing so. Yes, there will be parts of it that you will not understand, but there will also be parts that you will. I can assure, however, that the more you read, indeed study the Bible, the more you will understand it; not just academically but personally to you.
I have included (see below) with this email a resource for beginning to read the Bible. It is a suggested approach. In other words, bite off what you can chew. The point is to get started and be regular about it. You will be glad you did. I am always happy to answer any questions you may have.
The Center for Biblical Studies (CBS) has designed a one year reading schedule to help those who commit as individuals or as members of a church, a church school or a diocese to read successfully through the entire Bible in a year’s time. The CBS intentionally focuses on reading the entire Bible, reading the books of the Bible in sequence and ensuring that a psalm and a portion of the New Testament are read each day in order to provide strong spiritual daily content to sustain readers working through the entire Bible.
You can start this schedule on January 1 or any day of the year that you like. This schedule works ideally if you begin on a Monday because we encourage readers to read portions of the Bible Monday through Saturday and assume that on Sunday they will be in church hearing the Scriptures read aloud. The Bible is best understood in the content of a faith community and by persons who are committed to following the teachings of Jesus and obeying the Word of God in their daily life. Merely hearing the Scriptures read aloud on Sunday, however, is not enough to know and experience the living, life-transforming Word of God.
Find the full schedule, reading tips, and more detailed information in the full online PDF document, here.