Which Reading Plan Should I Use?

Every morning comes with a routine.

For me, I wake up at 6:30 or so and immediately plug in the coffee machine and set about cleaning up in the shower. This way, when the shower is over and I am dressed for the day, I can sit down and read the Bible with a fresh cup of coffee in hand.

It seems like there are more reading plans for the Bible than there are stars in the night sky. Some prefer a three year plan, others try to get through the Bible in a single year. Some prefer to go chronologically, while still others try to read by themes. The choices can be confusing and dizzying, so where can we turn for help?

There are two Bible reading plans that I have found extremely useful. I am quick to add that if you have a reading plan that works for you, by all means go with that. These are just the two plans that have worked well for me the last few years.

First and foremost, like many at Westminster, I was crazy about The Year of the Bible by Jim Davison. This plan got us through the Bible in a single year, alternating back and forth between Old Testament and New Testament texts. As anyone can tell you, if you try to read through the first five books of the Bible and all of the laws they prescribe, it can be a dark and lonely place! Dr. Davison did a great job of keeping things interesting, and keeping us moving through the Bible at a steady pace. There are also incredibly helpful notes and discussion starters throughout the book. If you are looking to get through the entire Bible year, this is a great place to start.

Since the Year of the Bible, I’ve been working through the PC (USA)’s daily lectionary. This offers a Psalm in the morning, an Old Testament text, a New Testament text, and a Gospel lesson, followed by an evening Psalm to pray through before bed. If you work through the Lectionary each and every day, you would read the entirety of Scripture in two years. This is a method that has been used by the church for generations. It’s really great for me because many of my friends at seminary and around the world are using the same reading plan, so many conversations have been born out of these daily readings. For those who would like to add a prayer element to this plan, you can download the Daily Prayer app from the PC (USA), which will walk you through the daily readings as well as the divine hour prayers.

As I mentioned, if you have another plan that works better for you, by all means go for it! The biggest idea here is that we would read the Bible together and with intention. Another great way to make sure that we keep up with our scripture reading is to make sure that we read things together. Grab a group of friends who will commit to a reading plan, and make sure to meet every once in a while to talk about what God has been showing you through God’s word.

Next Time: Bible Jazz.

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