Bible Reading Plan 2018
It means a fresh beginning. A new day. A deeply cherished hope has finally arrived: the birth of a child, a graduation, a wedding day, a family reunion. Something – or someone – has come, and everything is different now, and better.
Advent is the word the Church has used for centuries to describe the coming of Jesus, the one who changes everything. Like many churches, at St John’s we welcome Christ’s arrival by lighting five candles, one on each of the four Sundays before Christmas, and the fifth on Christmas day. The fifth candle, is simply called “the Christ candle,” and celebrates the greatest gift, Jesus, the giver of all good gifts: the one who comes to us and never leaves us, never forsakes us.
So in our Advent readings this year, we will go back to a foundational Old Testament passage that predicts Christ’s coming, Isaiah 9.
This continues our exploration of who Jesus is (building on our “I am” series), and considers the four titles Isaiah uses to describe the child born to us. In this way, our focus will not be simply on the gifts Jesus brings and leaves: it will be on the gift of Jesus himself – the one we have been seeking face-to-face encounters with.
How to read these passages
In this plan we have focussed on shorter readings. These shorter readings may be good ones for meditating on– or trying to commit to memory. They are also meant to be provocative… what is God saying to you through these verses. So you may find it helpful to follow this simple 4-step approach to get the most out of our daily readings – PRAY
P-ray. Clear your mind of your busy-ness by contemplating God’s greatness, asking forgiveness for anything that’s spoiling your relationship with Him and then thanking Him for His wonderful love for you in Jesus. Then ask the Holy Spirit to speak through what you are about to read.
R-ead. Don’t be casual or rush through your reading – read according to a plan and meditate prayerfully as you go.
A-nalyze. Or think. Perhaps identify a key phrase that sticks for that day and jot it down where you’ll see it regularly.
Y-ou. Finally remember the Bible was given to transform us. So finish each session by asking God how He wants to change you through what you’ve read (journaling might be helpful here) and pray for His Spirit to empower you to make the change real S
To get you started we have included a simple reflection of prayer for each reading designed to provoke a thought or two. But that of course is only a start—Let God speak to you through His Holy Spirit and take you where He leads. As before we have included a small space for you to make notes as you go on what God says to you as you read these passages.
May God bless your reading richly.
Note. If these readings whet your appetite for me you might want to get a copy of “2 minutes in the Bible with Jesus by Boyd Bailey—which provided the inspiration for this plan
You can download the plan here