Something I have struggled with my entire life is consistently reading the Bible, especially reading large portions at a time.
Often, it’s a few verses here and there and if I’m feeling adventurous, I would tackle a couple of chapters. What I didn’t realize was that I was missing a whole way of viewing the Bible as one complete story that falls together and communicates what God wants us to know about Him. As in the classic first verses of John’s Gospel, the Word was with God, and the Word was God, nothing was made. Understanding what God’s entire plan was and is for us is so important. For this reason, I am beyond grateful that we as a community were tasked with reading the entirety of the New Testament in one or two days. Of course, it was not easy, but the challenge is something that has changed my life and the way I see the works of Christ, the early church, and what we as ambassadors for Christ are tasked with doing.
On Monday the 8th of November, I work up at 5 am and began reading the Gospels. I started in Mark and read up until breakfast. By lunch, I was mostly through Acts and before I went to bed, I was working through Paul’s letters. While I loved the reading, my absolute favorite part of the day was at around 11:30 at night. I was walking into the lodge, and I saw Dan Strange full-on sprinting around the building. Apparently, he wasn’t able to focus so he was getting his blood pumping. But I will never forget the image of a dark figure running by the light of the motion sensor.
I should probably add, I am a very slow reader. This fact has kept me from reading anything and ended up being my biggest hindrance during this endeavor and meant I had to split it up into two days. I had to make the decision from the beginning that I was not going to fully process or comprehend everything there was when reading it.
Looking back, I definitely missed a lot. But fully knowing the meaning of each verse was not the point of this exercise. We were doing it to figure out the metanarrative and the general history of the beginning of Christianity. I believe I have succeeded in this. The others that were reading would agree, it was hard, but we learned something we wouldn’t have learned if we hadn’t done this.
Most of us have been told our whole lives that the Bible is one big story, but have never been able to comprehend that, but this new perspective provided by looking at it ourselves has forever changed the way we view the history of Christianity and how God communicates with us.
By Abi Smith, Abi is a 19-year-old who spent the majority of her life living as a missionary kid in South Asia. She attended a Summit conference right before starting college and there realized that college was not the plan God had for her and made the decision to sign up for Summit Semester. She is beyond excited to spend the next few months investing in others and having them invest in her.