Reading the Bible in the New Year
It is a new year and you know what that means….it is resolution time! New Year’s resolutions are a time-honored tradition for so many of us and with good reason. As the year goes on, the busyness of life can often overwhelm us and cause us to be in a state of just getting by. This can happen to us in the areas of health, work, family, and even our faith. As a new year begins, we have a chance to recommit ourselves to a priority or maybe start fresh with something new.
One goal that many of us often have is to read the Bible more. We want to read through the Bible in a year or we might want a more regular habit of study. Perhaps, we want the chance to grow deeper and study in a way that we have not before. With this in mind, I want to offer a few suggestions of resources available that you can use for studying the Bible this year.
The North Alabama Conference has a program called “Read Together” which provides a daily reading plan for reading through the Bible. This year, there will be a focus on daily readings from the Old and New Testament. If you register, you can receive weekly emails detailing upcoming readings. They also have a podcast and reading plan sheets. This is a great way to partner with other Methodists from around the conference reading the Bible. More information can be found at https://www.umcna.org/readtogether.
If you see that reading list and maybe want something a little less daunting, a couple of pastors in our conference have started a reading group and podcast called Armchair Theology. They read one chapter a day and are currently in the book of Numbers. As they would say, there is never a bad time to join in. You can find more information about them at https://www.armchairtheo.com.
Many of us have a smartphone or tablet that we often use for reading the Bible. Did you know that your bible app also has plans to read through the Bible? If you are using the Youversion app (https://www.youversion.com/the-bible-app/), you can look at the bottom of your screen and see that they have a tab for plans. They have plans that read through the whole Bible, some that are based on particular topics, and others that use famous Christian authors.
Find a group to read along with. Whether you choose one of these suggestions or something entirely different, seek out other people to read with. Having a group provides great support and accountability when starting a new habit.
Finally, even if you have a stretch where you miss a day or three, don’t give up! New habits take time and something like this is easy to get discouraged. If you miss some time, that’s okay, pick back up and keep going. It is better to miss and then start back than to just quit.
This year I am going to be going through the “Read Together” and would love for you to join me. If that sounds like something you would like to do this year, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will start an accountability group. Whatever you decide to do, happy reading this New Year!