Monday, January 01, 2024

Preaching Through the Bible in 2024


(This is a letter Pastor Tim Curry wrote and sent to our church family yesterday.)

Redeemer family and friends,

In 2024, we feel that God is calling us to preach through the entire Bible--we are so excited about doing this! We have had some good questions about HOW we will do this. Here are my current thoughts:

1. We will consider WHY we believe that we are being called to do this. We are a Presence-Driven, Spirit-led church, and we believe that the Spirit is guiding us to do this (John 16:13.) for greater intimacy with Jesus (John 5:39-40; Luke 24:27; 24:44-45), to guard ourselves from deception (Matthew 4:4; 22:29; 2 Timothy 3:13-17), as an act of remembrance (Psalm 77:11-12), and as preparation for the revival of the Word & Spirit that we are praying for.

2. We began preparing ourselves by preaching through the Bible as a story told through Seven  Acts at the end of 2023 (Creation, Rebellion, Israel, Jesus the Christ, The Church, The Return of Jesus the Christ, The New Creation).

3. We have invited our people to read the entire Bible. Our preaching will roughly correspond to reading through the Bible chronologically in one year (About 12 minutes a day, 7 days a week). Some of us are using the YouVersion Bible app’s (phone or tablet) plan (link to a printable version) called The Bible Recap with Tara-Leigh Cobble. There are many good plans, and many ways to do this, so whatever works best for each person and family is fine. We will not prioritize a translation, the kind of reading technology (book, tablet, or scroll;) or whether you prefer to listen to or read the text. We trust that our people can discover for themselves the best way to make the most of their time in the Word.

4. We will not use shame to motivate our people. If your pace is faster or slower, that’s ok. Whatever we can do to stay in God’s story and finish it will be wonderful.

5. We will encourage each other in the daily discipline of reading scripture—recognizing that while some parts of the Bible are engaging and exciting, some parts are very difficult and unpleasant.

6. We will remind ourselves that understanding ancient literature can take a lot of effort, but (1) following the Holy Spirit, (2) knowing Jesus more deeply, (3) guarding ourselves from deception, (4) remembering the deeds of the Lord, and (5) preparing ourselves for a revival of the Word and Spirit is all worth it!

7. We will pray for each other to have joy and endurance in this discipline as the Spirit shapes us to be more like Christ—for his glory—for his good news, and for the sake of the world.

8. As for preaching, we will spend multiple weeks in some books (Genesis, Psalms, Isaiah, etc), and combine some books in other weeks (Minor prophets with corresponding sections of major prophets, the pastoral letters of Paul, etc.). We will focus on the major themes of each book, its place in the Story of the Bible, and highlight specific sections as the Spirit leads.
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me, and I bless you with the abiding Presence of our Lord in the New Year!