For about two years, we’ve read through the stories of the Bible (straight from the Bible) at the breakfast table roughly following the church calendar. This week we start over again in Genesis.
Why? On Sunday, churches around the world celebrated Pentecost—the day when Jesus fulfilled His promise to send the Comforter to His people.
After anticipating the arrival of the Messiah during Advent, then celebrating His birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension, Pentecost marks the end of the special season of the Church calendar that focuses on the different aspects of Christ’s life on earth.
Reading the Bible aloud with the children each morning has been such a blessing to me. Attempting to follow the beautiful flow of the Church calendar has also been such a blessing.
Like the feasts in the Old Testament that highlight God’s saving care of His people, the Church calendar highlights the foundation of our faith: Jesus. It also helps keep us from focusing on one aspect of Jesus’ life (like His suffering) while neglecting the others (like His resurrection). I’m not sure about you, but it’s easy for me to get caught up in my favorite stories or passages. Following the church calendar is one method for focusing on the entirety of the grand story and “anchor[ing] our scattered stories in the story of Jesus.” (Jack King)
We don’t have an elaborate Bible reading plan. It’s quite simple:
- From Pentecost through Advent, we read stories from the Old Testament anticipating the coming of Jesus.
- At Christmas we begin reading through the Gospels and continue until Easter.
- From Easter till Pentecost, we read about God’s working in His Church in Acts (and the rest of the New Testament, if we get to it).
This is our third time to start at the very beginning. The first year we barely made it through Exodus by Christmas-time. Last year we read from Genesis through Second Samuel. Hopefully we’ll get to the story of Jonah this year.
More than that, hopefully the story of the Gospel will not only shape our Bible-reading time, but our lives.
Do you have a favorite method to teach the story of Jesus to your children?