Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nothin' to brag about

In mid-January, I started reading the Bible from the beginning and this morning I finished reading Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament.  I was feeling pretty good about myself at that point as I'm on track to finish the whole Bible in about 4 months but then it dawned on me  . . . that's nothin' to brag about.  Kids read Harry Potter books that are longer than the Bible in a fraction of the time that it will have taken me to read the Bible from beginning to end.

Don't get me wrong here.  I fully appreciate all that I'm gaining through this reading of scripture but I also realize that this is something that I should have been doing much more faithfully for a long time.  I was reminded in this reading of the Bible just how enjoyable reading can be.  My goal this time is not to dissect every passage but simply to refresh myself with God's written story, as a whole.  In doing so, I've revisited some stories that I had not read in a long time.  In  some cases, it was like reliving memories with an old and cherished friend.  I smiled as I read the stories and was was reminded of  their meaning and value.  Other passages seemed completely new to me even though I've read them before . . .  old words revealing new truth.  I didn't even get bogged down in Leviticus, a place where many well-intentioned reading plans whither and die!

I have to confess that I've been looking forward to making it to the New Testament from day one.  I'm not much of a history buff and I see much of the Old Testament as history.  That history is important and valuable for me but not always as interesting to me as it is to others.  I did, however, highlight a lot of new passages in this reading, finding new truths (actually, old truths rediscovered) almost daily.  I'm looking forward to beginning my reading of the New Testament beginning tomorrow.  This part of the Bible I have read many times but I fully expect God to reveal himself to me in new and fresh ways over the next month. 

As a bookseller for much of the last 15 years, I, too, have fallen into the trap of reading more about the Bible than simply reading the Bible but I think I'm falling in love again with simply reading the Bible.

What about you?  In what ways are you learning fresh truth from ancient scripture? 

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