So, I have probably read the entire Bible a couple of times, but let’s be honest, it’s difficult. Not only do you have Leviticus and Deuteronomy repeating a lot of the same information, but Chronicles is no picnic, some the minor prophets (because they’re short, not insignificant) are…odd, and Ezekiel and Revelation are a whole separate thing! And while I was contemplating this space and what I might use to build it up, I realized something: I’m about to turn 38. Like, as I’m launching this endeavor, I’m celebrating my birthday. The serendipity of this timing gave me an idea. I’ll use a “read through the Bible in a year” reading plan. Except, I’ll read through it two. I’ll do read one day, and reflect and write the next. I’ll finish as I’m turning 40.
Yes, yes, I know. New habits, new endeavors, don’t need to fit neatly into boxes. Life changes don’t need to start on January 1st or your birthday, new habits don’t need to start with a new job or new school year, new month, or even with a new week. Sometimes they work better when they don’t fit so neatly, when you just duck your head and do it. That said, I do love tidy edges.
I also recently(ish) discovered I enjoy lettering, designing a pretty and graphic way to write poignant lines, especially Bible verses. So that’s the plan: Read day 1, write day 2, and letter one verse for each passage.
The plan I’ll be following is in the Read Scripture app by Crazy Love Ministries. They include AMAZING videos to introduce books and sections of the Bible as well as topics, themes, and concepts. They’re short videos. They are easy to follow and very educational. You can choose to read at your own pace or choose any start date for reading through the year, and the app works like a checklist but with all the Scripture, and their videos, right there. I highly recommend the app as well as they’re website BibleProject.com. (I am in no way affiliated with them; I just love their work.) While I’ll be watching their videos and reading on that schedule, I’ll be doing most of my reading in of my ESV (English Standard Version) journaling Bible from Crossway so I can highlight, underline, make notes, record thoughts, and ask questions. (Again, no affiliation. I bought it for myself.)
With that introduction, I’m going to keep day 1 short. The passages are Genesis 1-3 and Psalm 1.
Even in the garden of Eden, before the fall, when Adam was living the perfect existence as God originally intended, there was work, purpose. Genesis 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him the garden of Eden to work and keep it. Just…reflect on that for a moment. Paradise isn’t lying about doing nothing. We were created to work. It just wasn’t meant to be painful.
My whole life, I was raised with the idea that Heaven is going to be 24/7 praise and worship. It always sounded…boring? Frustrating? Confusing? Like, how are we supposed to exist for eternity that way? Will we be some sort of holy zombies? The relief I felt when I realized that this image is completely cultural based on the description of a single celebration feast was immense!
We live our lives here on Earth driven to find our purpose, trying to make sense of what life is supposed to look like, what we’re meant to be doing with our time. For now, for today, from this reading, I take comfort in the knowledge that we are meant to be doing. We are meant to be productive, in service, to care for the world around us.