Bible Reading Day 10

“Why, Lord, do you stand far off” Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1)

During this pandemic I have felt this sentiment in ebbs and flows. One minute, God feels very near. The next, the pandemic, protests, and panic set in.

Beginning this journey through reading the Bible for the rest of the year has the hope of God not standing far off, of Him not hiding Himself in these times. But each day, even for a little while, it seems God is far off.

But that is just it, isn’t it, it’s something that seems, not that actually is. It is a feeling instead of reality.

Bible Reading Day 9

Have you ever sat in a church service or Sunday school class and after the pastor or teacher exhorts a specific passage you think, ” that’s not what that passage means!”

I assume all of us who have spent any amount of time in the church have experienced this, particularly when we are sitting in a church tradition we are not in alignment with. For me, Matthew 18:20 is one of those verses.

Bible Reading Day 7

Jacob had a number of encounters with God, as his forebears had. Each encounter seems to have strengthened his faith and resolve to worship God alone. But it is not until after encountering Esau, when he is told by God to build an altar, that his faith and resolve is passed on to the rest of his family.We know that our faith can move mountains (Matthew 17:20). But can our faith forgive another person’s sins?

Bible Reading Day 6

When we teach these stories in Sunday school we teach them as stories to look up to, stories of God’s faithfulness, and stories of God’s providence. And they are. But I so often have a hard time seeing the line between them all: what was God’s providence and what human choice? where was God being faithful in spite of humans’ sins?
We know that our faith can move mountains (Matthew 17:20). But can our faith forgive another person’s sins?

Bible Reading Day 5

As a child in Sunday school classes, I was intrigued by the stories of the friends who brought people to Jesus to be healed. In Matthew 9, the passage says it was their faith, not the paralyzed man’s faith, that Jesus saw. Because of their faith, the man’s sins were forgiven and it was because of their faith that he was healed.

We know that our faith can move mountains (Matthew 17:20). But can our faith forgive another person’s sins?

Bible Reading Day 4

Today I feel like Abraham. And a lot of days lately I’ve felt like Abraham.
I get up early in the morning and return to the place where I stood before the Lord. I open up the news feed or social media on my phone and I look towards Sodom and Gomorrah, towards the places where people are hurting. Towards the places I want to find righteousness.

Bible Reading Day 3

In today’s Old Testament reading we begin the story of Abraham when he was still Abram and Sarah was still Sarai. Abraham had been called and God had made the covenant with him that his descendants would be more numerous than the stars, but Abraham was still very unsure of what would happen or, more importantly, how it would happen.

First John, an Introduction

John has some major themes which are in both his Gospel and epistles: light and dark, remaining in Christ, and love. For John, be in the light and not in the dark was remaining in Christ and to remain in Christ was being love. These were themes all believers had the opportunity to live in. All could walk in the light. All could remain in Christ. And all would be loved.

The God of the Fantastical

For those who grew up in the church, attending Sunday school and midweek programming, summer camp and Vacation Bible School, when we think about Bible stories, we can probably name about ten or fifteen stories in a minute. But even those of us who adopted regular Bible reading in our teens and young adulthood will begin to have difficulty naming more stories. This isn’t for lack of trying or concentration, there are just a lot of stories. Not to mention, many of the stories are so similar it can be difficult to keep them straight.

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