I looked this morning at my daily reading planner and it shows as 99.7% done which means that all being well tonight will be our last reading through the Bible for 2010 and we'll have completed the M'Cheyne system for Bible reading. I thought I would jot down a few reflections on how the reading has gone for the year. I'm not aiming to be profound but rather just honestly reflect on how this year has affected us.
1. Firstly and without a doubt most importantly it's been tremendous to spend another year reading through the Bible and being challenged and humbled and thrilled by what God has to say. As a man who loves his food it seems unthinkable to go a day without having at least one square meal and likewise feeding on God's word each day has been profoundly satisfying. In an age when some seem to love to despise and ridicule discipline and almost deliberately confuse it with mere religion it's worth noting that certain disciplines lead to a healthy lifestyle and some do not. Feeding on God's word helps keep my heart right and my head in gear.
2. The M'Cheyne system has felt like more of a challenge than the previous EDWJ plan. This year has involved reading through the Old Testamement once and the New Testament twice which while good has also been more demanding time wise. If we missed a day for illness or other reasons then the catch up is truely time consuming. For that reason being committed to doing it and sticking with it is not for the faint hearted.
3. Once again I've been amazed at how much of the Bible I feel I don't recognise as I read through. I've read it all through before but still I am hit by some passages as if I'd never heard them before. That may simply be a reflection of my own poor memory but sections of the prophets are so powerful and so unfamiliar that I am glad to be "made" to read through them again and again in a set reading plan.
4. Youversion, who are the people who have provided us with the reading plans are absolutely excellent. Applications on the IPhone, Android and PC make completing each reading simple and the calendar view makes missed days a sinch to spot. (http://www.youversion.com). As individual verses or sections have stood out or challenged us as we've read them the system of linking in with Twitter has means posting stuff for review later has also been of real benefit. (http://twitter.com/paullintott)
I don't know what system you use for reading your Bible but let me encourage you to find one that works and do it. Good intentions are all well and good but making time each day to read the Bible is hard at first but I would suggest essential to pressing on in our Christian faith. God's awesome power was at work in creation through his words, in the Lord Jesus his power over sickness, demonic powers even death itself is demonstrated in his words and I am committed to staying connected to him by listening to those words.
In the immortal words of John Chapman (Chappo) "Read ya Bible you idiot!"
"Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning." Psalm 119:130