Sunday, April 14, 2013

Plus (Five)

I thought it might be good to actually finish my Lenten series. Yes, I know Lent ended two weeks ago. That's kind of how my life goes these days.

I'm posting this today because I just finished reading through the New Testament. I was reading on a 40-day plan, which would have fit nicely in the Lenten season, but life happened. The most impossible potty training endeavor in the history of the world happened. Another round of teeth for the toddler happened. Broken down vehicles happened. A new water bubble on the basement ceiling happened. You know...

So it took me 68 days to finish the New Testament. And I am so glad I did. Here are a few thoughts about the whole scope of the experience:

Discipline With Grace

An idea that surfaced very early in the season bore itself out repeatedly. Reading Scripture in large sections has been ah-maz-ing. But it is so hard to find windows in my life right now to devote to it. So it just does not happen every day. Instead of letting inconsistency get me down, I tried to practice discipline with grace. 

That means I found time, or made time, to read more often than I ever have before. And it was rich. But I also skipped days, or even weeks, and I chose not to beat myself up for those. 


I love the way the Community Bible Experience reading plan laid out the books and chapters, because it was easy to see the connections that naturally exist in God's Word. The latest? I finished the New Testament by reading the Gospel of John, then 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation. 

I love John's writing. He's the passionate poet of the New Testament. 

This time, I was particularly struck by what his Revelation vision would have meant to him. He was the disciple that Jesus loved. Then Jesus died, rose and returned to heaven. So the vision on Patmos of Jesus's eternal triumph wouldn't just have been eschatology. It would have been a glorious reunion. And it would have meant John getting to share in a giant feast honoring his best friend. How cool is that? 

Going Forward

I didn't want to choose a Lenten discipline just to say I had done it. I wanted to choose a discipline that really addressed an area where I needed to grow. This one fit exactly. So now I am eager to continue in the same spirit of discipline with grace. I have just a few books left to finish a reading of the Old Testament that I started a loooooonnnggg time ago (seriously long, like pre-kids). And then, I don't know, but I do know that I want to keep setting aside a block of time at least a couple of times a week to get the Word into myself. I'll let you know how it goes. 

What will you take forward with you from Lent this year?

Read the whole Lenten series

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