I woke up this morning with an excitement that felt more like Christmas than the thirty-first of May. I was fully awake near the end of the four o’clock hour, but I made myself stay in bed until 5:00 am. I’m an early riser, but that’s excitement folks.
Today is Day 1 of the church-wide Bible in 90 Days program. And I’m in awe of how God has wooed the people of Covenant Presbyterian to read His Word together this summer. As I prayed for each of the participants this morning, from Adams to Zachry and all 375 in between, my heart swelled with anticipation and gratitude. I’m eager to see how God will transform not only the individual lives of each person reading, but our collective life as the body of Christ, the church.
This morning after reading Genesis 1 – 16, I took a peek at the blog post I wrote last year after my first week of reading. I was immediately transported back to Seattle where I read those first few days and I was reminded of the rainbow God revealed to me.
Two things came to mind, especially for those of you joining me on the church-wide Bible in 90 Days journey.
First, I kept a journal during my reading last year. It wasn’t anything special, just a regular old spiral. The contents are sweet as honey to me. I’ve participated in Bible Studies over the last 12 years, but reading the Bible like a novel feels different than studying scripture. The first few days of reading felt very, very slow as I was trying to absorb every name, place, and detail like I would if I was only reading a dozen verses. Keeping a journal helped me pick up the pace a little. I would write down names and places that I found curious and look them up later. (Or not). Since it was so helpful last year, I started my journal again this morning. Today I wrote down several verses that spoke to me as well as a few things I have never heard of, like Nephilim. I have no idea if I’ll ever get around to delving into the meaning of these mighty men, but I felt better jotting the word down in my journal.
Second, it seems like every person I’ve talked to is a little worried about travel schedules this summer. Praise God for the blessings of summer travel. Last year, I started reading Day 1 on July 5th. The day after a major holiday and the first day of our vacation across the country with the four Littles. I get your apprehension. Really, I do. But, here’s what happened to me last year. I now associate parts of the Bible with the location I was while I was reading. Funny how the mind works, I’m sure there is some psychological term for this association, but it is sweet and sacred how I remember parts of God’s story.
The photo above of our Little in the International Fountains is just one of many examples of how God continually revealed Himself to me while I was immersed in His Word. I had just read God’s promise to Noah and all living creatures, an everlasting covenant with the sign of a rainbow for all generations to come. God’s Word is true, it is alive and active and the rainbow I saw in Seattle was just as much a promise for me as the one Noah saw shortly after the flood. If I hadn’t seen the rainbow would I have still believed His Word to Noah? Probably. And I might have even appreciated the beauty of the rainbow that appeared while my Little was splashing in the fountain, even if I had not just read Genesis. But that’s the power of being immersed in the Bible. You begin to see glimpses of things from His vantage point and not a worldly one. I don’t believe in coincidences. The rainbow, Noah’s, mine and every other one, was a gift from God. Talk about affirmation just as I was wondering how in the world I would read the Bible cover to cover.
All that to say, I’m excited. I am in awe and anticipation.
I’d love to know your thoughts after the first day of reading. And if you weren’t planning on reading the Bible in 90 Days with me, it’s not too late.
What do you say? Will you join me?