Every morning I watch the gospel and take note of the places where my mind is sparked by something I did not expect from the familiar story. It may be the stern look in Jesus’ demeanor or a phrase in the text that my ears catch but my eyes never saw.
After viewing a few scenes I go to the text, walk through it again and am amazed as I begin to see the familiar stories from a different perspective.
This same thing happens anytime we choose to approach the familiar in a new way. This is now the third time we will journey through the Bible together. The first time we just went straight through with no comment. The second time I offered a weekly blog that helped us better understand the backstory—the culture and history that are foreign to us but were familiar to the author. This time I encourage you to approach this familiar story in a new way by selecting a translation that is different than the one you typically use.
Our purpose in this journey is to read in such a way that the text gets through to us more than we get through the text. It is one of the main reasons we read the Bible in two years instead of one. It is also the reason I encourage you to choose a translation that is a little less formal and a little more conversational or familiar. So, for me, I am leaving my NIV and ESV on the shelf and choosing to hop between the New Living Translation and The Voice translation. Both are linguistically accurate and yet also personally accessible. The Voice even adds some helpful explanations along the way.
Whether you read from the NLT, the Voice, The Message or some other translation, ask the Lord to guide you and then select one that seems to resonate with your own soul. Read a few chapters and, if it isn’t working for you, try a different option. The idea is to take a slightly different path for this third journey, a path that will help us see the same terrain from a new vantage point. And as you are walking feel free to check out my thoughts through this weekly blog which will post by Friday afternoon. So you know, monthly reading charts will be available online or if you have questions or need some help, just ask Radonna.
Today, we start another journey through a book that is both familiar and new. There’s a reason it is called "The Greatest Story Ever Told". Chock full of supernatural phenomena, palace intrigue, celestial beings, and relational drama, the living Word of God has the power to transform you and the way you live in this world! So let’s walk together with expectancy because God has more discoveries for us to make along the way.
Sharing the journey with you,