Reading through the Bible
Aside from some times on retreats, I have never spent as much time in the Bible as I have over the past two weeks. I am currently in 1 Chronicles on my Lenten journey through the entire Bible. There are certain parts I've recently read in depth (the story of Joseph was something I studied again last month in sermon preparation), and I've done a "read through the Bible in a year" program and have studied various parts in depth, but I've found myself experiencing a lot of it as new all over again
When I got the idea to read through the Bible in Lent, it was mostly a personal goal. It was going to be me and God, me reading, God speaking. But me and my big mouth - I went and told people that I was going to do it, and then some other people said they wanted to do it, too. So I created a Facebook group (more for accountability than anything else), and it took off! Currently there are 104 members of the Facebook group!
And the cool thing about how it all played out was this: people started talking about the Bible, about what they had read, about what they didn't understand, about what they had forgotten, about cool things they'd seen. I was at a cell group meeting last night and, of the ten people there, six were involved in the Bible reading "challenge" (all of us struggling to keep up with the daily readings).
Instead of being a personal "me and God" kind of thing, like my "quiet times" have always been, it became a community thing, where the Bible was being read individually and studied and discussed communally. And not just a community thing among the people who are already gathered together (i.e., the cell group meeting), but among people who have not even met one another face-to-face. Our group includes self-proclaimed "Bible Nerds" (like me) and others who haven't ever read the entire Bible... and it's fantastic.