Hey Dawn. What’s with the commentary on Genesis? It’s not even in the lectionary right now!
A few months ago I wrote about my writer’s block and general lack of creativity. I’ve also had some spiritual struggles which have made it difficult to be fed by and grounded in a spiritual discipline.
After a few months of irregular reading, random praying and weak contributions to theologically stimulating conversations, I decided it was time to get off my faithful but complacent arse and get back to something routine.
Back in the summer a friend told me about the e100 challenge: 50 readings from the Old Testament, 50 readings from the New Testament, reading one passage a day for 100 days. These passages, selected by the Bible Society in England, have been selected as the top 100 passages that all Christians should be familiar with. Like our Revised Common Lectionary, I’m sure there are gaps, passages I would have included, but it’s a good start.
Starting at the very beginning (Genesis) is a very good place to start. Perhaps it is because I love the creation stories so much that my mind started to whirl this morning, to the point that I absolutely had to sit down and write. And I did. And I was blessed. So, there will be blog posts.
Growing up in the Baptist church, we were expected to be reading the Bible and praying in solitude every day. The rhythm was to read an assigned passage, read a devotional guide, spend some time in prayer. While at different times in my life I have been fed by the daily offices, meditation, the rosary and contemplative retreats, I felt it was time to go back to the beginning, how I first fertilized the seeds of my faith. The e100 challenge seemed like a good place to start. It is completely interactive and I can use a new translation I have come to like, the Common English Bible. Below is a bit of information on the Common English Bible and then, below that, some information about using the E100 website and YouVersion, which I very happily recommend to anyone looking for a mobile bible app.
Technicalities aside, you’ll be hearing from me, and, for that, I am grateful. I hope to hear from you, I’d love your feedback. And if you’d like to join me with on the challenge, sign up on the website.
What do you use for your devotions?
Common English Bible
This is a translation that has come out in the past year. Like the Message and other current translations, it has gone for a more conversational, narrative style, but rigorous in translation. Along with beautiful print editions in leather, hard cover, paperback and editions for students, it is also available online for free. It has used inclusive language for people and, when possible, used non-gender specific language for God. This has been submitted by the Anglican Book Centre to Faith, Worship and Ministry for approval as an official translation for being proclaimed in churches. I like it. Learn more at www.commonenglishbible.com.
E100 and YouVersion
YouVersion is a mobile bible app that, along with several reading plans, is connected to the E100 challenge. Signing up on the E100 and YouVersion websites, you can have email alerts sent to you every day to remind you, read your passage on your phone or computer. You can also make notes which you can keep private or share with the E100 community. This is where I keep my notes, because they will pop up every time I read that passage, which is kind of nice. I can read other readers’ thoughts on the same passage. These are the notes that will be posted on this blog. I can’t post from YouVersion to my blog, but I can post directly to facebook and twitter. I can also schedule those posts for a later time. It really is a great system, keeping track of all your reading. YouVersion has other Bible reading plans as well. You can schedule how long you want to take to read the whole Bible.
Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience, and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life.
Book of Common Prayer (1662), Collects. 2nd Sunday in Advent