Thanks for taking a chance on this new project with me. Whether you’re a seasoned preacher or a Bible newbie, taking on scripture can be tougher than gnawing through week-old bagels (dontcha hate when you get those poppy seeds stuck in your teeth??). If I’m being honest with you, it freaks me out a little bit too, but I also think it’s an important thing to try.
There are tons of reasons we don’t pick up our Bibles. The stories are boring. They don’t make sense. They seem to lack relevance for my life, here and now. What’s the use, anyway? I’m never going to know these texts as well as conservatives, and if they find out I’m doing a “Bible study,” they might start spouting verses at me.
Then you smile, take three steps back and run like hell.
Seriously, we’re not here to “arm you with the word of the Lord.” I’m not going to drill you with verses until you have them memorized. But regardless of what you believe or don’t believe (or maybe you’re not sure), there’s no question that the Bible is the most important, influential historical and cultural document ever written down. So it kinda makes sense we’d know a little something about it, right?
The good news is we’re not going to start at the beginning and just read the whole thing like it’s one big book. It wasn’t written that way, so why read it that way. Actually, lots of smart folks have gone though these scriptures before us and organized them in a way that helps connect them together. So each week, we’ll have three or four digestible sections of text, and generally there will be something tying them together if we do a little bit of detective work.
For you theology nerds, we’re following the Revised Common Lectionary, as this seems to be the most commonly used liturgical calendar among my peers. And for those of you who just zoned out after reading words like “lectionary” and “liturgical,” don’t worry. We’re not going to beat you down with Bible-speak here.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the introduction video I produced to give you a sense of what each weekly study will look like. In addition, I’m inviting some other God Nerds to contribute some “bonus content” from time to time. These will comes from what’s called “Year D” lectionary studies. Basically, the Lectionary divides the Bible up into three year-long trips through the text, so that in that time, you cover most of the Bible. But there’s some that gets left out, and a couple of folks have created a Year D study to dig into some of those parts of the Bible most of us never hear about in church or anywhere else.
Got a question? See something we could be doing better? Let me know, because this is your community as much as it is mine. I’m the facilitator, but it’s my goal for all of us to learn from each other. Most important, I want this to be a fun experience. If you miss a week or two, don’t stress. Just jump right back in when you can. There will be archives of old studies if you want to play catch-up, but more important than being able to brag to your Jesus-freak friends that you’ve gone through the whole Bible is just setting some time aside to learn some new things, consider some new ideas and to dust off some of those old questions you’ve been carrying around for so long about God, Jesus, the Bible and this faith we call Christianity.
I’m glad you’re here!