Read it now:
How do we find our place in the one true story of the world?
We believe that the story the bible tells is the one true story of the world, and it is ours to live in. It is God’s story from start to finish, and at its center is Jesus Christ: God in person. So throughout 2020, we will center ourselves on the story’s center: Jesus.
We know it can be difficult to read, so we’ve made it as easy as possible – so that this year, everyone can read the bible for themselves. We’ll read through the entire New Testament, with Psalms on Saturdays, and each month we will be asking different questions of the readings (see below). If you’re looking to read more, we encourage you to read through parts of the Old Testament as well!
You can pick up a physical READ 2020 plan (also acts as a bookmark!), or even easier – download the Park Church app and read it right on your phone from wherever you are.
As you’re reading the bible, try asking these questions:
What does today’s passage show me about Jesus, and thus, about God?
How could I summarize today’s reading in a few sentences?
Here’s some basics of bible reading that you might find helpful:
1. The right approach.
Trust the scriptures like you’d trust a well-trusted teacher or parent. Put yourself under the Word. Come to scripture to be spoken to by God himself, believing that God has a word for your life, the life of your community, or for the world around you. Be open to hearing something new from the living Word.
2. Pay attention.
What is the writer’s intention? Genre? What does the writer want to accomplish? Ask the context questions (who, what, why, where, how, etc.).
3. Remember the forest.
How does this little piece of the story fit into the whole? How does the forest give color to this one tree? But also, how does this one tree effect the forest?
4. Ask so what?
Where does this intersect with life? How does this challenge you? How do I live this passage with my actions?
In this year’s reading plan, we’ve decided to focus on the New Testament to get as many people as possible regularly reading Scripture. If you’d like to read a bit more, feel free to dive into the Old Testament at your own pace. Here’s some suggestions:
1. Read big parts of the story of God’s people.
Genesis and Exodus are foundational. Even though they’re both long books, read through all of them. Leviticus – Deuteronomy are filled with amazing things, but can also be difficult to read through. Joshua and Judges are fascinating stories of God and the early days of his people. 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings tell the very mixed history of Israel and their quest for a king.
2. Read the smaller bits of the story of God’s people too.
Take a read through Ruth, Esther, Daniel, Jonah, and the much longer Job to read individual – but amazing – stories of God’s encounter with people.
3. Read some poetry from God’s people.
In the Read 2020 plan, you’ll read from the Psalms every Saturday – but feel free to read the rest! Take a bite sized look at Proverbs and be challenged by the bits of practical wisdom.
4. Read from the Prophets.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel are big, beautiful, and challenging books of prophecy – looking forward to the future of God’s people in Jesus. Try to read as much as you can from them. Definitely read Isaiah 40-55 – you’ll hear resonances of it all over the New Testament. Read the shorter books from the prophets as well, starting with Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, and Jonah….but they’ve all got something big to say!