My friend and colleague Jennifer Wright was the speaker at Daily Manna at the law school yesterday. I’ve been fortunate to be able to draft Jennifer to give an occasional talk at one or another of the retreats in daily living I’ve offered at the law school over the last several years, so I was happy to see her on the Manna Schedule.
Jennifer began by asking how many people had read the Bible cover to cover, something less half of the people attending had done. She shared that she had never done so, that while she was deeply familiar with all of the New Testament and portions of the Old (Isaiah, the Psalms, Jeremiah and a few others), there were large portions of the Bible she had never read.
As a result, she embarked on a project to read the Bible in a year. That seemed daunting, but she shared that she found the Center for Biblical Studies to be a great resource. The Center has designed a one year reading schedule “to help those who commit as individuals or as member sof a church, a church school or diocese to read successfully through the entire Bible in a year’s time.”
Not only can one download the schedule from their website, the the site has a section with daily meditations, the authors of which come from a range of Christian faith traditions. Jennifer said that she has found the meditations to be a great aid to her daily reading.
We understand the Bible to be inspired. That means, as Jennifer suggested, not just that the authors who wrote each book was inspired, but that there is inspiration involved in our reading and interpretation of the Bible. That is an important reminder that it is not enough that other people tell us what the Bible says, but that we read and pray with it on our own.
I confess that my situation is as Jennifer described herself at the outset. I have read virtually every word of the New Testament (virtually because I haven’t read every word of Revelation), most on numerous occasions. I have prayed through Isaiah and the Psalms and have read much of a number of other Old Testament books. But there are a number I am not at all familiar with, that I’ve never read.
Jennifer’s talk today inspired me to commit to remedy that situation. I may or may not use the schedule proposed by the Center for Biblical Studies, but I do think their approach and meditations may be a beneficial one – for me and for many others.