Matt and I used to be involved in a Bible study at church. We were the "young professionals," but some of us called ourselves the "young partiers." Because we're classy.
When we first joined the group, there were four other young couples that would join us each week. But eventually, those couples started having kids, or stopped attending church, until it was only us and one other couple. We had a few individuals join and a few individuals leave. We changed our name to the "20s/30s" group so it would be inclusive of those friends with kids. But still, there just weren't enough of us to meet every week. Over the summer, we officially let the group die with the hopes that one day we could start it up again.
I initially wanted to start this challenge because it had been entirely too long since I'd done any kind of real Bible reading. We would study a chapter here or there in Bible study, and we would cover verses in church, but it seems like the same books and the same chapters get covered over and over again, with little to no attention on some of the other books. The gospels get read a lot, what with the Christmas story and the Easter story. Paul's writings get read often, especially at weddings and when pastors want to remind everyone to be good, loving, faithful people. James gets read at least once a year to remind everyone that you have to DO good in addition to having great faith.
But when was the last time you read about the prophets Zephaniah or Habakkuk? (Our group did try to study Isaiah one time, before it was deemed "too boring" and was replaced by a different study.) There aren't really "takeaway" lessons you can pull from the chronology lists in Chronicles. You don't hear Revelations from the pulpit all that often (at least not at our current church, though I'm sure there are others that put more emphasis on it). I wanted the chance to (re)read those.
I've finished reading through the entire Bible during the course of this year. While I'm glad I chose to do it, I am relieved that I'm done. It's not an easy read — even with an easier translation, like the New International Version (NIV), which is what I used — and I've found myself feeling weary about reading in general, which is not like me at all.
But I think it was a good challenge to do, because every time I read the Bible, I learn new things. And every time I learn new things, I feel better equipped to stand up for my faith.
If you're at all interested in reading through the Bible, I would recommend YouVersion's reading plans. (You can read them on your phone or tablet, or on your computer screen, which is what I had to do when my old first-gen iPad wasn't compatible with the newer downloaded version of the app.) It made it easy to keep track of what I needed to be reading.
Are you going to set any reading goals in the new year?