Sunday, December 27, 2020

Journaling through the Bible: Christmas Season

Text: Journaling through the Bible: Christmas Season; background snow scene with two birds

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Our family has focused upon a few different aspects of Bible reading during the month of December. During the evenings, we have read through an Advent reading plan at dinner time, which took us from the genealogy of Jesus through his birth. My husband has been reading through an Advent book with the children at prayer time before bed. Personally, I have been finishing up a reading plan on YouVersion, which includes readings from the Book of Isaiah. December has allowed me to welcome readings from all parts of the Bible. 

Countdown to Christmas 

We are using an Advent plan I had found online several years ago. It takes us through 25 readings from John 1: 1-18 to Revelation 22:17, 20-21. We have had to make some adjustments over the years because several of the readings were too long for our youngest when they were little. There are also a few typos, but in general, this plan has served us quite well. 

"The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him." 

John 1:9-11

Text: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Text: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16

Text: "And she gave birth to her firstborn and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

Reading a New Book 

My husband picked up An Advent for the Cosmos by Jeffrey Pitts to read with the children this year and in future years. It is a 72-page paperback book with color illustrations for each day of Advent with a Bible memory verse, introduction, a Bible reading, and more. To help you and your family dig deeper, there is a summary and discussion section with questions. Each day's readings finish with a prayer, and then you can listen to a song or songs that relate directly to the day's readings. While most Advent reading plans focus upon the birth of Christ, this book also brings us the message that God sent his son to redeem the world. It brings everything together. 

Monthly Bible Reading Plan 

In order to read the Bible in a year for 2020, I chose to follow twelve monthly plans from YouVersion. I chose the "Let's Read the Bible Together" plan, which is a 12-part series where the participant will read the entire Bible in 365 days. Each month, there were readings from the Old and New Testaments with the Psalms scattered throughout the months. November included the books of Song of Solomon, Ezekiel, Hosea, and Revelation. December featured the books of Isaiah, Micah, First Peter, Second Peter, First John, Second John, Third John, and Jude. My only complaint is that without referring to the month or plan description or scrolling through the days, I did not know which book was going to be up next. I did like that the plan mixed things up, rather than a straight reading of the Bible from cover to cover. 

In 2021, I plan on reading through the Bible chronologically using an item that I will be reviewing soon on A Mom's Quest to Teach. I received The Bible Recap: A One-Year Guide to Reading and Understanding the Entire Bible by Tara-Leigh Cobble to review from Bethany House Publishers. This is a sturdy, hardcover book that provides 365 days of readings taking one through the entire Bible in a year in chronological order. Readers are taken through the Scriptures as they were written. I have not tried this approach to reading the Bible in one year yet, and I am looking forward to this endeavor.

Text: Journaling through the Bible: Christmas Season; A Mom's Quest to Teach; background image of pine trees and snowflakes

I love that the Christmas season offers so many ways to journal and reflect upon Bible readings. Whether we read through the birth of Jesus in the book of Luke or we find His story in the other Gospels, there is so much joy brought by the story of His birth. So many Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled when our Savior was born. I have been able to read and enjoy God's Word this month while listening to Christmas music.

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