by Sophie Sullivan
“What if someone could just click ‘play’ and they could allow the Word of God to wash over them? What if they could allow the Word of God to – slowly, day by day – shape their lens: the lens through which they look over this entire world” (Fr Mike Schmitz)
We are – literally – living in a world of uncertainty as we enter 2021. But there is no reason not to hope! Whilst we may feel isolated and cannot physically get to the parish to encounter Jesus in the Eucharist, we have a great opportunity to do something amazing! If you haven’t already, set yourself a goal this new year – to read the entire bible in 365 days…
Using Jeff Cavins ‘Great Adventure’ Bible Timeline, which unpacks the story of Salvation – the story of God’s love for His people – this is a unique opportunity to find out how your story fits into the Story!
This is the goal that my husband and I have recently set for ourselves this year. Who knows how we will manage, but we are giving it a go! Waking up a little earlier to listen in to the podcast before the children stir, we have found that following the Bible in 365 days has never been easier: Only 20 mins of reading – including a short reflection from Fr Mike – is uploaded everyday and is now made easy access, via our parish website. The podcasts come with a simple-to-follow reading plan, to help you see the big picture of the journey you are undertaking. And the readings are ordered in such a way to help you make connections between Bible passages like never before. I am currently enjoying the drama unfolding in Abraham’s journey and already appreciating – in a way I hadn’t previously – the riches and depth being unlocked before me in the pages of this incredible book at the heart of our faith.
Since the 1st January, the ‘Bible in a Year’ has clocked up an unprecedented number of downloads and is currently sitting as the number 1 podcast in itunes – an amazing feat!
My advice is not to worry that you are not starting on day 1! It’s never too late to start a new habit. You can kick off from the current crop of daily readings and catch up with the previous readings at your leisure, which are all available online to listen to again. Or create your own ‘day one’, start from the beginning of the reading plan and then count 365 from there! For someone you know who doesn’t have access to a computer or device to listen in to the podcasts, the adventure can also been undertaken by simply following the reading plan and reading the passages on their own, using their own bible. Maybe you could print out the reading plan for someone in this position? Maybe, like me, you might find greater motivation in arranging to read along with a friend or spouse, so that you can support each other in the commitment or call each other to discuss the content?
Here are a few quotes from real people who have decided to give the ‘Bible in a Year’ a try:
“I’ve tried to read the whole bible before many times, the New Testament is easier to read, but I’ve never got through the Old Testament in any coherent way. I always start in Genesis, but I tend to get lost in Leviticus and my momentum fades. Having Fr Mike to guide and encourage you through the reading of the bible is great and the Bible Timeline that Ascension are following really helps to put all the pieces together. This is a great opportunity for me to finally read the bible and I have enjoyed the journey so far.”
(Male, 40 yrs old)
“I’ve been managing to fit in the short 20 min podcast bible timeline into my busy hectic kids at home and working day. That alone is a miracle! I think even if I listen to just 50% over the course of this year my understanding of the bible and how the pieces fit together will have grown and I’ll be in a much better place with my faith.
I want to be able to answer my children’s questions about the ‘hard questions’ in the bible with confidence.
I told myself that ‘I don’t need to be perfect and I’ll just try to catch as many as I can’. I’m enjoying it so far, as it’s presented in bite-sized chunks”
(Mum of two)
“I missed the first few days, but am enjoying my Bible reading so far – it’s a real page turner! I was ignorant as to how much there is to dive into and that the Bible is packed full of real people, making real mistakes and, yet, God is still calling them! It is also very helpful to be able to make connections between the passages and I’m amazed at what goes on in my heart as I read. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey this year…
(Female 45 yrs old)
Get started on this wonderful adventure by going to our Bible in a Year page.