Christmas: From October 14 to November 19
I have one of those Daily Bibles. It’s edited by LaGard Smith. It’s a series of daily readings from the Bible in chronological order. I’ve been reading it for years.
For those of you who’ve read through the Bible in a year, you know that it takes real work. It’s easy to quit or give up when you get to the book of Numbers or what seems like genealogies that never end. On the other hand, it’s easy to read some of the famous Bible stories with an “oh, I’ve heard that before” kind of attitude.
But if you make it through, there’s a sense of accomplishment—and even hunger to do it all over again. There’s something about the panorama of Scripture that is inspiring. How can one book scan from one era to the next with a consistent theme? And there are so many questions to answer. So many things I don’t understand.
Here’s one for me: In my Daily Bible we don’t arrive to the New Testament until October 14. Think about it. There’s creation, a flood, Abraham, a promised heir, a people in slavery, Moses, the Red Sea, a period of judges, kings, prophets, minor prophets, Psalms, Proverbs, and people like Ruth, Esther, Haggai, and Malachi. All of these are prefaces, movie trailers to the main event.
The Scriptures tell us in Galatians 4.4-5 that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” October 14 is the fullness of time in my Daily Bible. Ten and a half months to get to the fullness of time.
And when Jesus arrives, it all goes so quickly. There’s the reminder of the prophecies; Elizabeth and Zacharias; Mary and Joseph; angels; wise men; shepherds; a 12-year-old boy; John the Baptist; the start of a ministry with wine, healings, people fed, the dead raised to life, a voice that thundered, 12 men, women who followed, so many that received grace, angry religious leaders, a contrived trial, a road of suffering, a cruel death, an amazing resurrection, and an ascension.
It’s all over by November 19. October 14 to November 19—the story of Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but I read those words, and I just say, “Wow, give me more of Jesus!” And in truth, I’m so glad that the story of Jesus is not just a little more than a month. But his story continues on in the lives and the hearts of those who believe, who carry the light of the good news in their own hearts.
If it took 10 months to get to the story, we know it will take eternity to discover even more of its depth.