With every new year comes new hopes, new resolutions and new challenges. Christ Lutheran is preparing for this by promoting a congregational program called Community Bible Experience (CBE). In a nutshell, as a congregation we want to read through and promote conversation about the entire New Testament in 40 days– beginning January 8.
According to George Barna, fewer than 20% of Americans read the Bible outside of church. And yet, 90% of those who attend church do so because they want help understanding the Bible. CBE accomplishes this goal.
We have purchased 400 “New Testaments.” I put that in quotes because it is not organized like your typical Bible. This is more like the original Bible in that there are no chapters and verses. It is far more engaging and interesting to read. Starting with Luke/Acts, this Bible then goes through Paul’s letters in a chronological order. Participants will commit to about a half hour of reading each day throughout these 40 days. In addition, we will design a sermon series that will focus on the key readings for that particular week and encourage small groups to join us for deeper conversation.
Here is what I am asking you to consider doing:
- First, pray for and commit yourself to take this challenge.
- Second, pick up a book outside of Cornerstone Gifts starting December 4. The suggested donation per book is $5. If that is a hardship, the book is free of charge.
- Third, when you get your book, sign a covenant to join others in reading through the entire New Testament.
- Fourth, begin reading on January 8.
Simple, right? Year after year the Bible is on the best sellers list. The average American owns 4.4 Bibles. And yet it remains a mystery to most people because it is not read, it is not discussed and it is not applied to our lives. This will reverse that trend.
As we look to 2017 as the 500th anniversary of the Reformation when Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Chapel Door on October 31, 1517, we want to launch this year at Christ Lutheran the same way that Luther launched the Reformation—the Word Alone. The Bible is the final authority on matters of life and faith. No other author, ancient or modern, must be put on par with the Bible. If we are going to follow in that bold tradition of the Reformation, we must begin by being grounded in the Word.
Please join us for this Community Bible Experience. You’ve always thought about reading the New Testament. You know that the Bible is important. Yet, you feel as if you don’t know enough about the Bible. That all changes on January 8.