In last week’s blog post, Fr. Kelly announced that we are planning to read the Bible in a year as a church. We will begin on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, which we will celebrate September 30.
As we prepare for this journey, perhaps a good question to ask is “What is the Bible?” It may seem like a basic question, but many have become so familiar with the Bible that we need to take a step back and think about a basic question like this. The Bible is a collection of writings by various and differing authors that have been gathered together and edited over the course of several centuries. Christians do not always agree what books should be included in this collection. However, all of the books considered canonical by various Christian communions come from people of God’s covenant.
In many ways, this collection seems messy. Differing accounts of events are included. The various authors do not always seem to agree. Despite this, after a reading for this collection in a service, the reader says, “The Word of the Lord,” to which we respond, “Thanks be to God.” By saying this, we are affirming that God has been at work through the whole process: the writing, collecting, editing, and reading. We believe that God uses the text to speak to us today. The same Spirit that inspired the ancient authors guides us as we read.
The goal of reading through the Bible is for us to have a more intimate connection with God. We also hope that we will grow closer with each other as we engage one another in discussing what we have read and discovered in Scripture. After all, the Bible is best read in community with others.