We’re currently in the middle of a Surge at LifePoint Church. We’re praying, fasting, and reading the entire Bible from start to finish out loud from the pulpit in our main auditorium throughout the week. We’ve dedicated this week as a church body to kicking off our year through these three disciplines as we submit ourselves in 2013 to God’s work in us and through us.
So why do we do these things? Why do we pray, fast, and read the Bible? This week we’ll be posting on all of these subjects here at 2thesource, but I’d like to hit Bible-reading first. Specifically, why are we beginning 2013 by reading the entire Bible out loud from the pulpit?
About 24 hours ago I had the privilege of kicking off the Surge Bible reading with Genesis 1:1. The last update I saw (check LifePoint’s Facebook and Twitter accounts #Surge2013) had us midway through Joshua. If you’re not familiar with the design, we’ve had over 100 different people sign up to fill a half-hour slot of Bible reading as we go through the entire word this week. I’m not sure who it was who got to do the heavy lifting through the Tabernacle specifications in late Exodus or the nuances of the sacrificial and ceremonial laws in Leviticus or Numbers, but I’m thankful that a few members of our church family did!
One our Elders texted me this morning after he stopped by before work to kickoff the day with the 5:00-5:30am slot, he said he read Numbers 3-10. Then he said “I’m thankful to Jesus for coming to fulfill the law, else, there’d be a LOT of dead animals in my name. Now, it’s (salvation/reconciliation to God) in His Name. Thank you Jesus.”
Why are we doing this? There are several reasons. In this blog I’ll mention just two of them:
1) As Christians, we are “people of the book.”
By reading the entire Bible out loud together to begin the year, we are emphasizing this aspect of our identity. We don’t worship the Bible, but we do worship the God who the Bible reveals to us. We believe that the Bible is the authoritative revelation of the identity of the one true God and His Son Jesus Christ. God has shown from the beginning of time that He reveals Himself by His Word to His people.
2) Tackling this goal demands our unity and our commitment to do it together.
As I kicked off the reading yesterday, my goal was to get through the Tower of Babel account (Genesis 11) in my initial half hour slot. I made it through Abram’s call, and handed it to my friend Ray at the beginning of Genesis 13. As I was reading I realized a couple of things: 1) This is an awesome experience for us as a church and I love reading Scripture out loud, and 2) There is no way in the world that I could accomplish on my own what we are accomplishing together this week. Sit down and start reading the Bible out loud and see how far you get before you either lose your voice, have to take a bathroom break, or pass out. Will you make it through all of Genesis? If you’re reading at a very fast pace that will take you nearly 4 hours. Only 65 more books to go!
Not a single person who calls LifePoint Church home has the physical capacity to accomplish what we are doing together this week. That is a pretty humbling and inspiring reality. I’m thankful to be a part of this.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.