Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Here's a challenge...

You might like to try this: "Read the Bible in a Year." That’s the subtitle of a new book called The Bible Challenge, edited by Marek Zabriskie, and published by Forward Movement (www.forwardmovement.org) with promises to help you do that. Zabriskie is founder of The Bible Challenge and the Center for Biblical Studies, as well as rector of St. Thomas’ Church, Whitemarsh, Fort Washington, Pa.
  
Zabriskie says you can start anytime, but he suggests starting on a Monday with Day 1, assuming readers will be in church on Sunday hearing the Scriptures for that day. He also says, "read slowly and meditatively, as if it were a love letter written by God especially to you."
 
More than 100 clergy and other Christian leaders were asked to join in the experience, each one providing three brief commentaries and meditations in a row, a question or two to think about, and a prayer. They do cover the whole Bible (every day except Sunday when we are in church), naming the sources each day from the Old Testament, the Psalms, and the New Testament. Keep your own Bible nearby so you can read the biblical stories along with the meditations.
 
Each of the contributors is named with his or her position and whereabouts around the world. They were encouraged to use their favorite translation of the Bible. The Foreword was written by the twenty-fifth Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, The Rt. Rev. Frank T. Griswold, who says that we learn in Hebrews 4:12 that "the word of God took the form not only of speech, it also ‘happened.’ It took the form of events and encounters, visions, and words heard with the ear of the heart." What can we do, but listen, and follow!
 
You may contact www.thecenterforbiblicalstudies.org for tips, schedules, resources, and ways to connect with other readers.
 
Zabriskie advises that readers "put yourself in the presence of God before you read any portion of the Bible." It sounds like a good plan. Let’s try it!
 
—Lois Sibley