When I attended a Catholic university to get my BA many, many years ago, I was required to take twelve hours of religious studies. I took several courses on the Bible, but I remember little of it outside of the more popular books.
Since then I have tried reading the Bible on my own on several occasions but somewhere between Judges and Ruth, I lose interest. After wandering around like Moses in the desert, lost and bewildered as to how to get this done, I joined a group last year committed to reading the Bible in 2017.
The leader is a Facebook friend and fellow writing buddy, but my commitment is not as much to her or the group as it is to my own belief in God. If the Bible is the book of my faith, I should be able to proudly state I have read it cover to cover and am familiar with its contents.
Here I am ten months into 2017 and I have just now finished reading the Old Testament and have started into the New. Some OT books were lyrical and uplifting; others were drab and painful. No matter how much I tried I had a difficult time reading them, much less gleaning a spiritual message from them.
I am more familiar with the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, so the reading is easier so far. I have noticed a different tone as well. It will be interesting what my final assessment will be when I finish and look back at the total endeavor.
So far, I am surprised at situations in the OT that apply to modern times. We seem doomed to continuously repeat the same mistakes in our relationship with God, but I also see His unconditional and everlasting love, His promise of forgiveness and grace through the ages.
Moses and I have a lot in common as our wandering ends. I see hope at the end of the journey as I seek God.