From the Pastor….

I’m guessing that you waste at least half an hour every day. To put it another way, I imagine that you could find half an hour each day that you could spend more productively than you do now. I want to suggest a way for you to spend that 30 minutes for the next 30 days.

Last week I was studying the passages suggested in the Revised Common Lectionary for this next Christian year with the goal of outlining a preaching program for that period. There are a little over two hundred passages, four for each Sunday, usually including a Psalm, another reading from the Hebrew Scriptures, an epistle selection, and a passage from one of the four Gospels. That covers a lot, but certainly not all of the Bible.

As I read, I reflected on the fact that, by using the lectionary, there are passages that I am going to neglect. Furthermore, it’s more difficult to see them in their context, to see how thought flows and events progress through particular books. I recognized that, though I spend a good deal of time studying the Bible, I could improve, and I’m pretty sure you could too.

I’ve never been a big fan of reading the entire Bible all the way through, especially if you begin with what we call the Old Testament. I can almost guarantee you’re going to get bogged down by the time you get to Leviticus. Beyond that, there are large portions of the Hebrew Scriptures where it is difficult, if not impossible, to see any modern relevance. I’m not going to spend a lot of time contemplating some of the rules about not handling the skin of dead animals or wearing clothes made out of two different materials.

Reading the entire New Testament, however, is a different story. All of its books have relevance to us and there is great value in reading the twenty-seven of them in order, from beginning to end. Every time I read a passage I find something new. There is often something I haven’t noticed before, or a truth that applies directly to something with which I am currently dealing. That’s where the thirty minutes for thirty days comes in. Right now I’m in the middle of investing that much time — not to the exclusion of other devotional reading or biblical study — just reading the New Testament. Maybe you read a little faster than I do, maybe a little slower, but you’ve got the time and there aren’t many better ways to spend it. 

Here’s a site where you can print off a plan:. There are, of course, plans available for longer periods, but, come on, thirty minutes for a month? You can do that.

I can’t predict what effect this will have on you, but I can guarantee it will make an impact on your life. Give it a try.