You are invited to experience the Bible again or for the first time in a new and exciting way. I propose you find a partner or two (or three) and challenge each other to read the weekly readings. An outline of the readings can be mailed to you, or you can pick one up in church. They will also be posted on our website www.parkpresby.org and our Facebook page so that 2014 becomes the Year of the Bible for Park Presbyterian Church and friends. Our readings will come from the narrative stories, Psalms, songs, and samplings. The goal of the year of the Bible is to read and remember the stories that shape our lives.
The One Year Bible is a wonderful challenge, but a daunting task. For our year of the Bible I propose briefer readings, maybe 10 minutes a day, highlighting God’s continued activity with the people of faith throughout all generations. Consider reading with a partner or small group of friends to help you find a special connection or encouragement in scripture.
Reading the Bible with a combination of head (mind) and heart (inner being) brings the voice of God into your daily lives. Scripture is given for instruction, encouragement, and for developing our relationship with God. Who does not want to hear the voice of God saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love!” and that is only half of Jeremiah 31:3.
We can use online Bible references but there is nothing like thumbing through your own Bible. Do you need a Bible? We can have copies available for a minimal fee, or bring you a copy and reading schedule so that all of us can immerse ourselves in God’s word together. It does take a bit of discipline, but like most disciplines it will be very, very rewarding and life giving.
There are many approaches to the Year of the Bible. On the Mennonite website http://www.yearofthebiblenetwork.org/, youth pastor Barry Shafer writes, “Eugene Peterson in Eat This Book used the image of his dog finding and enjoying a fresh deer bone as an analogy for ruminating on God’s Word. His dog leisurely delighted in the find—gnawing, chewing and worrying the bone for hours. Then he buried it, only to enjoy it another day. Scripture isn’t to be observed and catalogued; it is to be chewed on, mulled over and buried in our hearts, where it is sure to be enjoyed another day.” In other words the Year of the Bible – eat this book!