Thirteen years ago, when our daughter started kindergarten, we started a family tradition of Bible reading at breakfast. That year, we read through a children’s Bible, cover to cover. We had no idea when we began how it would transform our family’s lives. The first year went so well that the next year, we chose a different, thicker children’s Bible and did the same thing. Our tradition continued for a total of 9 years, reading aloud a children’s Bible every year as a family. Sometimes we did different Bible studies as well.
Little did I realize that ten years ago, when our home burned in mid-August, our Bible studies would reflect our own wandering. During the time we lived in an apartment, as our home was rebuilt, we were knee-deep in an intense Bible study of the Hebrew nation’s wandering. Our three months reflected their forty years of wandering, and on many occasions, our reading of the day was exactly what we needed to hear.
When our daughter started high school four years ago, we decided to up our game and try reading aloud the Bible. Our goal was to finish the Bible, reading it at a chapter at a time during family mealtimes, and completing it before she left for college. We made a commitment that all 4 of us had to be present at the meal for us to read aloud.
As our kids grew busier and our lives got more hectic, those family Bible read-alouds were sometimes sporadic.
But we met our goal. Tonight, four years after we started, we finished reading aloud the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Tomorrow, our daughter moves to college.
Though we have done weekly and daily Bible readings at times, nothing prepared us for the sheer majesty of reading the Bible in chronological order. Some parts were more interesting than others; Leviticus and Numbers weren’t always that inspiring. But when we aim for a high goal, sometimes we have to trudge through the tough parts. Trudging through the tough stuff toughens us so we better enjoy the greatness of individual parts as well as the Bible as a whole.
We will return to our family Bible studies after our daughter leaves tomorrow.
For now, I’ll just rest that we set a big goal and met it. Even if it took us 4 years to get there.