As the new year approaches we find our minds being drawn toward what 2020 might be like. What will happen? What do we want to happen? What can we do to grow and mature this year? The truth for most of us is that we could probably come up with several pages of changes and adjustments we’d like to make over the new year. Gain this, lose that. Stop this, start that. The list would go on and on.
And the reality is, if we could do all of those things, we’d probably be better for it. But as we all know, most of the “new years” resolutions we make never make it past January. Change is hard. Change is challenging. But in many cases, change is worth the fight.
For Christians one of those common goals for the new year is the study of scripture. Plans often involve either reading every day or reading through some portion or even all of the Bible over the next 12 months. Though Bible reading often comes across like a “check the box” kind of activity with the way we talk about it, it really is needed and is far more than that. I would guess few, if any of us, would suggest that our faith has grown most when we are in scripture least. The more we are around God’s word, the more it impacts us.
As has been brought up a couple of different ways already, our congregation is planning on reading through the Old Testament in 2020. The leadership understands the challenge this will be but feels comfortable that the results of this study will be very much worth the time invested. A couple of weeks ago in our Bible class we talked about the value of this plan so I’m not going to dig into that here but I would like to offer up some suggestions as we make plans to start this in January 1.
Find a method of reading or listening that works for you. As we talked about in class, we all learn differently and reading may be your preferred method or listening might be better for you. Either way, I would encourage you over the next couple of weeks to start a habit of covering a chapter or two each day. This will help you start developing the habit you are hoping to have throughout the next year and hopefully will also show you any potential struggles you might have such as the time of day you are trying to read or whether reading on your phone is more distracting than helpful.
If you know that you will need encouragement to maintain consistency in your reading, take the next couple of weeks to find someone to hold you accountable. If you want it to be someone doing the same readings that would probably be best but even if it is just someone you confirm your reading with, that will likely prove invaluable going forward. Make sure to choose someone as motivated as you are so that they will make sure to keep up with you as well.
I know that being at our Wednesday night class isn’t always an option for everyone but I would encourage you if you can’t make our class time to start watching the Facebook livestream, if you aren’t already. Because each week’s reading will be discussed on Wednesday night, this is a great opportunity to add some depth and understanding to the things you are looking at. We want this goal to be something we do together and participating in the class will help you get the most out of it. The livestream on Facebook will start when we start class, so roughly 7:10 or so. If you are unable to join us right then, the livestream remains on Facebook indefinitely. This means you can watch it later that night or any night after that.
I really believe this upcoming year is going to be a time of tremendous maturing and growth and I hope you are excited about the opportunity. If you have any questions about being a part of this, please let me know. If you are not a part of the Sioux Falls congregation but would like to participate, please let me know as well and I will get you the information you need.