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Our Family Bible Read-Aloud Challenge | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Our Family Bible Read-Aloud Challenge

Gaudete! Rejoice!

On this Gaudete Sunday, we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent and rejoice that Christmas is near. This year, that rejoicing takes on a special meaning for my family.

Today, we reached a milestone in our family Bible read-aloud challenge. ¬†Family Bible study has been central in our home life since our daughter started kindergarten. When she was 5, we organized our Bible study a little more, reading a children’s Bible a story a day every morning, starting with Genesis and ending with Revelation. Each year, we completed a different version of children’s Bibles. Since different versions focus on different stories, we learned a few different details each year.

When our kids reached their teen years, I wanted something more. Before my daughter started her freshman year, we changed our routine and took on a family Bible Read-aloud Challenge. Our challenge was to start with Genesis and read the Bible, two chapters a day, together as a family. As my teens grew busier, and our lives became more complex, that was sometimes harder. If anyone were out of town, we put the challenge on hold until everyone was home together.

We started at first reading a chapter daily in Genesis and a Psalm daily. This helped in case one reading were depressing or more detail than story-oriented. We didn’t skip any of the begets, begots, or don’t forgets – as in religious precepts.

I didn’t anticipate when we started how long it would take with our delays as our family’s schedules grew more complex. Nevertheless, when we were all home at mealtime together, each day, we read 2 chapters from the Bible. Finally, in my daughter’s senior year, we have completed the Old Testament. For our second readings each day, we had already worked our way through Matthew and are in the middle of Mark.

Now, we will continue the gospels, a chapter daily and also read a chapter from the letters daily. Our goal is to complete our challenge before our daughter leaves for college next fall. I think we’ll make it.

I never imagined, when we started, how struck we would be with the beauty and majesty of the Bible’s prose. Reading the actual text, in chronological order is one of the most stirring, remarkable experiences of my life. When we finish, we will find a different form of Bible study.

In this process, besides Divine inspiration, I hope our children have learned that it’s possible to achieve huge goals if you take them on a little at a time and keep going, not quitting when the going gets tough or tedious.

I will neither forget nor regret our goal of reading the entire Bible together, as a family, before our children left for college. After just over three years of delving indepth into the Old Testament, we’re ready for the good news of the New Testament.

Just as we lit the 3rd pink candle this morning and rejoice that Christmas is near, I rejoice that in our readings, we have wandered through creation, original sin, wandering in the desert, reform, captivity, and reunion, and are now ready to celebrate Christmas – the birth of Christ. Wherever we are or were on the journey, there can be a happy ending.

Gaudete! Rejoice!

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