Week 1: January 1 – January 7

January 1, 2017

Another new year. A good time to begin a fresh cycle reading through the Bible. This year, let Living in The Story guide your reading. And as you read, you are invited to read Charlotte’s blogs and consider my reflections on the weekly passages.

We will spend the first week pondering what kind of book this Bible is. Think about that for a bit. How do you understand what kind of book it is? Is it a history book? A rule book? Is it fact or fiction? Literal or legend? Story or science? Is it true? And what does that even mean to say it’s “true”? (We’ll talk about that as we go along.)

Within Christianity, the Bible is generally taken to be “Scripture.” But even the notion of Scripture can mean a variety of things to various Christian groups and denominations. During public worship in many churches, a reading from the Bible concludes with the reader proclaiming: “the Word of the Lord” and the congregation responding: “Thanks be to God.” What does it mean to call the Bible “the Word of God?” (We’ll talk about that too.)

But now, today, especially as we begin – think about what the Bible is for you. Name some of your assumptions and presuppositions before you begin reading. Has your understanding of the Bible changed over the years? Mine sure has! My own journey with the Bible is what prompted me to create Living in The Story and to share it with other fellow travelers. I am ever so grateful for this journey of change that has been happening within me for most of my adult life.

Change is good; it means we are alive, thinking, growing, becoming. I am grateful you are willing to read the Bible with me this year and I am hopeful we all will be changed by the experience.

Each week, the Scripture passages will be drawn from across the entire Bible. One from the Old Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures); one from the Psalms (the hymnal of ancient Israel); one from the New Testament (the Christian addition to the Hebrew Scriptures); and one from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – the foundational narratives of the meaning of Jesus).

Each week, I will send you the weekly Bible readings and link them to Bible Gateway. I will send them in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible but you can easily choose a different version in the Bible Gateway settings.

Or – of course – you can read these passages from your own Bible, underlining passages of interest and marking the verses in whatever way is helpful.

Or you might want to listen to these weekly readings. Bible Gateway also has audio Bibles available online at no charge.

Each week, I will also send one or two of my blogs: one (my Living in The Story blog) will be a reflection on the passages we are reading. Another As You Read blog will give you some background on history or geography or how the Bible developed and evolved over these many centuries of its existence.

I really hope you will feel free to engage me in conversation over the course of the year. Ask questions, challenge my interpretations, share your own insights… There are countless ways all of us with all our various stories intersect The large, overarching Story of the Creator’s ongoing engagement with creation.

So here we go. The first week’s readings are short and pretty easy in order to get us started. Here are readings for Week 1: We Begin with Faith.

Deuteronomy 6-8

Psalm 119

John 5

2 Timothy 3

Here is the As You Read blog for Week 1


Here is the Living in The Story blog for Week 1


Thanks again for reading along with me. May our hearts be open and may Spirit be our teacher.

Grace and Peace,

Charlotte Coyle

Read more about Charlotte here.