A New Year, a new beginning. That’s the way we think in our society. We desire that new start. A new set of resolutions, a new sense of purpose, new focus, new intentionality, new relationships, new furniture, new vehicle, new, new, new….
But what if new is just a modern fad, an invention of our consumer driven mind-set? Most electronics are made to be disposable, intending for us to be looking to the next new thing. Cell phones, tablets, computers, Blu-Ray players, TV’s, even the cars we drive are all made with their longevity in mind. Even our furniture. I have several pieces of furniture in my house that are older than I am (I’m 34) and some that are significantly older than I am. But the couch I bought 11 years ago when my wife and I got married? It’s done. We were furniture shopping this past Saturday.
As a side-bar, if you are going furniture shopping in this day and age, go prepared to spend way more than you expected and expect to get less than you would think for that money.
At one time when people bought furniture they bought it FOR LIFE. Now you can expect to go through three or four sets of furniture in your life-span.
This is turning into more of a rant than I intended. Here’s my point: what if we ignored New Years and our fascination with what is new, and instead focused on what is longstanding? On what endures?
I know, sounds radical, but it is actually the pattern that has sustained society for the past several millennia. Not that societies have been stagnant, there has always been change and new inventions, but those things always happened on the bedrock of some basic, unmoving, longstanding foundations. Things like moral law, social order, religious beliefs, cultural identity, oral traditions that have passed on history to the next generation, and so on.
What if this New Years we focused on something old and enduring, instead of something new and shiny? That’s the challenge that I gave to PEMC this past Sunday. What if the top spot in our New Years’ Resolution list was taken up by the Bible? A dedication to get back to what is basic and enduring and eternal. So the challenge is to read through the Bible in 2014 in a chronological order. So not book to book to book, but instead reordering the Bible to flow more as if it were a story. So, for instance, Psalm 138 & 139 would fall in between 1 Chronicles 25 and 1 Chronicles 26, because that is where David wrote them in the story of his life. It provides us with some incredible insight in to the contexts of the Psalms, the Major and Minor Prophets as you read them in the historical contexts of Samuel, Chronicles and Kings.
John 1:1 reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Of course “the Word” refers to Jesus in this context, and the whole point of the Bible is to point us to Jesus, the One who has been since the beginning. One solid, immovable, unchanging, eternal building block on which to place the rest of your life.
If you want to join us in this journey, there are going to be some helps along the way. Check back to this website daily for the daily reading plan, thoughts, questions and trivia to help with your reading, as well as the opportunity to leave comments about how the Bible is affecting your life and what insights you’ve been gaining. You can also check out the Facebook page dedicated to this that will have the same content as this page. You can also join us on Sunday mornings as we utilize this reading schedule to guide our worship and our scripture meditations for the year.
All in all it comes down to this: we need to be reading the Bible, period. Doesn’t matter how much or how little you are reading it now, you can and should be reading it more. It is God’s letter to each and every one of us.