Reflections on the Orthodox faith and life in this crazy 21st century world by an Orthodox priest and a few of his friends.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Double Bible Update (OSB and CCC)
In a post that I wrote just over a year ago, I told you of the plan that Jennifer and I had to follow the two-year reading plan of the Old Testament part of the Orthodox Study Bible.
Now it's confession time.
We didn't quite get halfway through the Old Testament as we had planned. Several things got in the way.
We started out strong, rarely missing a day (and when we did, always catching up) until the beginning of Lent. During Lent, we decided to temporarily set aside the reading plan to read through Fr. Thomas Hopko's excellent book The Lenten Spring with our daughter Audrey as a daily devotional. This was more for Audrey's benefit than for ours, and we thought about not doing it. Jennifer and I could certainly have read through the book individually and gotten just as much out of it. But Audrey wouldn't have read it. Plus, we had a family tradition going back several years of doing a daily devotional with her during Lent. We didn't want to break that tradition.
We decided that it would be too much to try to read through Fr. Hopko's book AND to continue on the Bible reading plan, so we set the plan aside for a while. And, to be honest, we had arrived at the beginning of a long stretch of the OT that contains a great deal of material that is (forgive me) not exactly exciting reading.
After Lent and the frenzy that is Holy Week, we finally got back on track with our Bible reading. But by then, Jennifer was in the home stretch of her last semester. Then she had finals. Then we had her graduation and then Audrey's. Then later in the summer, we had vacation and the start of another school year. Jennifer started working and was often loaded down with extra work that had to be brought home, which made her more exhausted. Then there were Karate classes, illnesses, school events, etc, etc. In short, life got in the way.
The PDF document that contains the two-year reading plan has a total of 26 pages. This means that in order to be on track, we should have finished the thirteenth page by the end of 2009. I am embarrassed to say that we barely made it past page 6. This means that we are actually on the four-and-change year plan. We are going to try and do better this time. We're almost to First Samuel (called 1 Kingdoms in the Septuagint), which is wonderful reading (as are the three books after it). The four books of the Kingdoms read like a novel. I'm looking forward to that.
Now on to some good news. After heroically spending more than a year teaching through the Gospel of Luke, Fr. Lawrence Farley has begun a series on the Acts of the Apostles in his wonderful podcast The Coffee Cup Commentaries (or CCC for short). This is going to be great. Acts is one of the most fun-to-read books in the whole Bible. It too reads like a novel. If you are not yet a regular listener to CCC, I encourage you to become one ASAP. If you do, you will be blessed (not to mention the fact that you will learn a whole lot about the Scriptures).
May the Lord bless you all. More Bible studies on St. James' Epistle soon.