OK, it's been a busy summer and the posts have suffered. But I'm ready to get this thing back in gear. One way is by *attempting* to blog daily during the next 90 days. My church has just begun a 90 day challenge to read the Bible through. The goal is to get the big picture of the scriptures rather than just settling down in a handful of verses that we really like. On Sundays I'll be preaching through the scriptures. I started with Creation, yesterday. Obviously, this won't be a verse by verse study, but hopefully we'll get a glimpse of the larger story of God's efforts to redeem his creation that ties all the bits and pieces together.
To be honest, I'm a little nervous about this - I'm not nervous that I won't be able to do it (although that's a possibility); and I'm not fearful that my church members might not do it (some of them might not); my biggest fear is that they will! It's a lot more comfortable for me if we at church only talk about the verses that I like to talk about. Having everyone actually reading the Bible, asking their own questions, coming to their own conclusions - well, that's enough to terrify the bravest of preachers. What if people ask questions I don't know the answer to? What if people read the embarrassing parts of scripture and call into question their entire faith? What if people hear a radical word from God and decide to obey (this one always inevitably challenges the comfort level of everyone else in the congregation)? I might have to do some changing myself - that makes me really nervous.
All this reminds me of a quote by Barbara Brown Taylor in her book The Preaching Life, "[The Bible] is a book in which wonderful and terrible things happen by the power of an almighty God, whose steadfast love for us does not seem to preclude scaring the living daylights out of us from time to time." I like the steadfast love part - am I ready, though, to be scared to death? Yes, if on the other side of that death is new life!