Let me first start off by welcoming everyone to our second year going through the Bible in one year! I am praying that as you engage with this daily discipline it will continue to grow more and more natural and delightful for all of us.
The purpose of these blog entries will be to provide a place of encouragement for all of the readers, and share my own thoughts about the reading. This year we will be following the Bible reading schedule produced by the Bible Project. The plan is laid out to finish reading the Bible in 358 days (yes, a few days longer than a year). The Bible Project has also done a LOT of great work in producing videos that explain important themes in our reading. Each week I will post the links to those videos at the bottom of the post. You can also find links to the videos on the "Devotional" section of each day's reading if you are following along in the Bible app.
Let's start off strong! I am so grateful to be on this journey through the Bible again with you all!
My 3 Favorite Observations from this Week's Reading
God is the beginning of community
I'm always struck by the opening chapters of the Bible. In one quick series of paragraphs it presents God as the origin of the very universe that we inhabit, the brokenness that characterizes our existence, and the community that we all long for. It tells us that God made mankind, saying, "let us make mankind in our image." The God who made us modeled us after the community that is his very being, Father Son and Holy Spirit. To be made in the image of God means so many things, but probably most significant of all, it means that we were made to be in loving unified relationship with one another. It is not good for any of us to be alone. We were made for relationship, because the God who made us is relationship and love.
The Promise of God, the response of obedience
How does a created being relate with its creator? Surely it is not the kind of arrangement where both parties exchange goods or services, that the other needs. It's not that kind of relationship. God doesn't need anything from us, as if he lacked something that only we can provide. The story of Abraham shows me how God relates to created human beings. He relates to them in the form of a promise, also known as a covenant. God promises to be our God, and we respond with freewill, joyful, obedience. It was never my job to earn God's promise, but only to respond to the simple fact that God has decided to make this promise with me.
The God Who is Over the Womb
The opening chapters of Genesis repeatedly bear out the theme first voiced by Eve in Genesis 4, "With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man." The Bible repeatedly shows us that God is the one who gives life. God closes the womb, at times, in an act of judgment for people's wrongdoing. Other times, God closes the womb, waiting to respond to the prayers of his people to open. Still, there are times when God does not give children for reasons known only to God himself. God is the one who gives life. This is a comfort to me because the alternative would mean that the weight of this responsibility falls on us!
Supplemental Videos from the Bible Project
Monday, Jan 1 - Genesis 1
Tuesday, Jan 2 - Torah Series: Genesis 1-11
Wednesday, Jan 3 - No video for today!
Thursday, Jan 4 - Abraham and Melchizedek
Friday, Jan 5 - The Covenants
Saturday, Jan 6 - No video for today!
Sunday, Jan 7 - The Test