A number of years ago, I began reading through the Bible at our morning worship, a chapter each morning.
Today, we read this chapter ...
I really am not sure how long it took us. My morning worships with the children only happen on 'school days'. At weekends, the Builder is here, and he takes worship, so at five chapters per week, with the Builder's annual holidays taken out (because obviously, he's here with us then, too!), I reckon it probably took us around six years. Yes, you read that correctly - SIX years!
I also have to say that it's been my favourite reading of the Bible ever. I've been a Christian for almost thirty years, and I've never got so much out of reading whole books of the Bible.
Each morning, our format was this (mostly, anyway. There were occasional changes):
- we read a chapter every day (very occasionally, if it was very long, we'd 'halve' the chapter). Then we'd talk about what we'd read.
- we sang some verses of a Psalm (normally the Psalm the Wee Guy was learning at the time)
- we read one - yes ONE - verse each from the book of Proverbs. The Book of Proverbs is the only book of the Bible we didn't read chapter by chapter. Instead, we read the bulk of it verse by verse - as I said, one verse each per day (so normally five verses, decreasing to three, depending on which children were present and which kids had moved onto working/studying outside of the home). By the way, we got so much out of the Book of Proverbs by reading it in this way. Again, we'd speak about some of the lessons from that day's verses.
- we'd conclude our time of worship with prayer.
I'm not sure how the children will remember these years of morning worship times, but I remember them - and I think I always will - as a very, very special time in my life. I loved having a non-rushed time of reading and talking and singing and praying with my children every morning. I loved seeing things in Scripture like I was seeing them for the very first time. I loved being able to talk with my children about sermons I'd heard over the years on certain verses or chapters, and how what I'd learned all these years ago had never left me. Time - unrushed time - spent with my kids whilst reading and learning from the Word, is one of the most precious gifts I could have been given in this life.
So ... what were my favourite sections?
Genesis: this is always a favourite of mine. There is so much of Christ in Genesis, and I will always be grateful to the first pastor I had when I became a Christian for preaching Christ to us from every corner of the Bible. Genesis became a favourite of mine back then. One of my favourite verses in Scripture - it could actually be my very favourite - is found in chapter 3.
"Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make
coats of skins, and clothed them." (v.21)
Adam and Eve were naked before God, ashamed and frightened. How precious that God came to seek them out, called them, and then He covered them with a covering that came from a blood sacrifice, surely.
I love that it was GOD who made the covering, and who then covered them. What a wonderful picture of Christ's robe of righteousness which God places on those He has sought out and called!
Also found in this chapter are these words:
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise its heel." (v.15)
I once heard a minister say that this was the key verse in all of Scripture - that everything in the Word that precedes this verse is leading up to it; and everything else in Scripture follows from it.
For more of Christ in Genesis, you have Noah's ark, a wonderful picture of the security found in Christ; Melchizedek, King of Salem; Abraham and the sacrificing of his most beloved son; the wonderful type of Christ found in Joseph, the feeder of all who came to him ... I could go on and on.
But my favourite readings were yet to come, and they came from Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. I was completely blown away by these books. Yeah, I know, not what you'd normally think of as blowing-away-books-of-the-Bible.
Some of the chapters in Exodus dealing with God's precise direction were such a blessing to me. The minute detail given in some of the later chapters in Exodus concerning the building and furnishing of the Tabernacle made me realise like never before the care God takes with His own worship. I've never quite appreciated before this just how definite God was with all aspects of His worship, and the way in which he left nothing to our own imagination ... not even to the sanctified imagination of Godly men. I loved - really loved - reading this section of the Bible.
I've always loved reading Leviticus, and this time was no different. Seeing different aspects of Christ's Person and His work in the sacrifices was such a joy. It was a great joy to read of them with our children, and be able to speak to them of things I'd heard taught before they were even born.
And so, we reached the very last chapter of the Bible. Having read the beautiful promises of Isaiah, and his oh-so-clear record of the anguish of our Lord's sufferings that would come; having ploughed - yes ploughed - through parts of Daniel and Ezekiel; having grown to love Boaz, Daniel and Nehemiah all the more; having wept through parts of the Gospels when I had to read what 'wicked hands' had done to my Saviour; having seen, like never before, Christ's care for the whole man - soul (of course), but also body; having delighted in Paul's letters, especially to the Romans and to the Ephesians (read Ephesians 1.... oh, what joy!); and having had the delight of reading through the letter to the Hebrews - one of my favourite books of the Bible (yes, I have a few!) .... actually, this was my favourite reading of Hebrews ever, because the Old Testament was still so new in our minds, and it all made so much sense! We could hear it through Jewish ears .... I digress!
So, having read all these wonderful words, yes, I still say that the first books of the Bible were my absolute favourite.
(We are now reading from the beginning again. Now, I only have D.R and Calum Stewart in the mornings. I miss the girls :( ...but am loving our morning discussions with my boys. Right now, we're at Exodus 13.)