Nine Week Summer Reading Plan

July / August 2018

In Frederick Buechner’s book, Beyond Words, he suggests that new or returning readers of the bible “stick to the higher elevations.” Like the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Or the early stories of Genesis. Or God’s deliverance of Israel out of Egypt. Or the pragmatic letter of James. Or the action-packed gospel of Mark. That is what we are going to do with our summer reading plan! Pick the plan best suited for you!

Plan A

3 chapters per week (0.5/day) – 28 total chapters

 • Matthew 5-7
 • Mark 1-16
 • James 1-5
 • Philippians 1-4

Wk 1 (6/25-6/30)
Wk 2 (7/2-7/7)
Wk 3 (7/9-7/14)
Wk 4 (7/16-7/21)
Wk 5 (7/23-7/28)
Wk 6 (7/30-8/4)
Wk 7 (8/6-8/11)
Wk 8 (8/13-8/18)
Wk 9 (8/20-8/25)

Plan B

6 chapters per week (1/day) – 55 total chapters

• Genesis 1-12
• Exodus 1-15
• Matthew 5-7
• Mark 1-16
• James 1-5
• Philippians 1-4

Wk 1 (6/25-6/30)
Wk 2 (7/2-7/7)
Wk 3 (7/9-7/14)
Wk 4 (7/16-7/21)
Wk 5 (7/23-7/28)
Wk 6 (7/30-8/4)
Wk 7 (8/6-8/11)
Wk 8 (8/13-8/18)
Wk 9 (8/20-8/25)

Plan C

12 chapters per week (2/day) – 100 total chapters

• Genesis 1-12,18
• Exodus 1-15
• 2 Samuel 1-24
• Hosea 1-14
• Jonah 1-4
• Mark 1-16
• Matthew 5-7
• James 1-5
• Philippians 1-4
• Revelation 21-22

Wk 1 (6/25-6/30)
Wk 2 (7/2-7/7)
Wk 3 (7/9-7/14)
Wk 4 (7/16-7/21)
Wk 5 (7/23-7/28)
Wk 6 (7/30-8/4)
Wk 7 (8/6-8/11)
Wk 8 (8/13-8/18)
Wk 9 (8/20-8/25)

18 Comments

  1. Curtis

    We had a great time at Lucky Tree cafe this morning talking about today’s reading (Mark 6:30-56). A bunch of our conversation focused on verse 52 “they had not understood about the loaves”

    The nuance and multi-layers of our conversation this morning can’t be captured in a sentence … but as we talked about this, we think the thing they missed was simply LOVE. They were distracted by miracle and missed the point … to love. To show compassion. And ultimately, this is the greater miracle to *get*. LOVE.

    Reply
  2. Curtis

    I love the aramaic Jesus speaks in today’s story. Talitha Koum, which roughly translated means “Wake up, little one. Arise.”

    Reply
  3. Curtis

    I’m out here in Tennessee with our youth at Higher Ground Summer Camp this week. This morning, my co-chapel speaker shared his own paraphrase the words the Spirit spoke over Jesus at his baptism. “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”

    He said to all of the campers. “You are my child. I’ve been waiting for YOU for all of time, and you are here! You are the pride of my life.”

    It was beautiful.

    Reply
  4. Michelle Funke

    Matthew 6:38-39 — I have read the “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” verse so often, but this time I was in a different spot and God touched me anew! The previous verses speak of worrying about food and clothes (finances), but this time (for once) my worry was not about finances, but the worry was certainly there… But God was leading me to focus on the “seeking His kingdom” and not as much on the “do not worry” part. I’m not making much sense in this comment, but just know that once again, God hit me in a new way! I love our God!

    Reply
    • Curtis

      Love it, Michelle!

      Reply
  5. Curtis

    Our Saturday morning men’s group enjoyed reading through today’s text (Matthew 7:15-29). The observation was made of how American Christianity has produced its share of charlatan preachers. Sad. But true. On a positive note, she has also produced some breathtakingly beautiful expressions of faith.

    May the latter win out!

    Reply
  6. Cory

    I missed last Sunday unfortunately, but LOVE this idea of a running start to get back into reading. Is there a way to print these plans or just write them down?

    Reply
    • Curtis

      Is this Cory K? If so, I’ve got your email 🙂 and I’ll send you the PDF we handed out on Sunday. Sound good?

      Reply
  7. Curtis

    Plan A. June 29. Matthew 7:1-14. Phrases that caught my attention.

    “Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans.” (makes me think of church street signs)

    “Don’t look for shortcuts to God … The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.” (and while vigorous, it is also uncomplicated … and can be summed up as love for God and love for others)

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    This just shows that we cannot earn righteousness. We would have to be better than the Pharisees. Perfect. None of us can obtain perfection. That is why we need a savior.

    Reply
  9. Michelle Funke

    Matthew 5:19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    These two verses confuse me. V. 19 says that anyone who doesn’t follow the commands will be the “least in the kingdom”, but then IN THE VERY NEXT VERSE, it says that unless you’re better than the teachers of the law, you “certainly will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Verse 19 seems to say that yeah, you’ll get there, but you’ll be the *least*, and verse 20 seems to say, “Nuh-uh! No way are you comin’ in!”

    God, please be with me on this faith journey this summer! Guide me into your truth.

    Reply
    • Curtis

      A thought (open for discussion!)

      Jesus seems to have the Pharisees in his sights with these comments. It makes me think of Matthew 23:23 “You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness.” They (the pharisees) are “obeying” parts of the law but “setting aside” the more important pieces of the law: that is, justice, mercy and faithfulness 🙂

      I read verse 19 as another version of Matthew 23:23. He doesn’t want us to neglect the weightier pieces of the law. If we neglect restorative justice and mercy, we will never surpass the “small” righteousness of the Pharisees.

      Thoughts??

      Reply
      • Michelle Funke

        Matt also tells me that the word translated as ‘righteousness’ in every other language it’s been translated as ‘justice’. If you replace ‘righteousness’ with ‘justice’, it makes more sense to me. Which is pretty much what you were saying in your reply… 🙂

        Reply
        • Replies not posting—Later there will be like three probably! Ha!

          Michelle, also look back at the wording…

          Commands and teaches
          Versus
          Practices (does) and teaches!

          As I think CJ taught, righteous is putting others first (that is the DO for others)—don’t just stand on the corner and command it!

          Which leads to the versus…
          ““Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who DO what my Father in heaven wants them to do.”
          ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:21‬ ‭GNB‬‬

          Reply
          • Curtis

            That makes me think of the common Hebrew contrast between righteous and wicked (or righteousness and wickedness). I wish I could remember the commentary or source, but wickedness is disadvantaging others for your gain. Righteousness is disadvantaging yourself for others gain (or putting others first).

  10. admin

    Plan A. June 28 reading.

    This text has a lot to say about the god(money)-vs-God(soul) battle we all fight.

    Stanley Hauerwas offers this sobering (but true) thought: “Abundance, not scarcity, is the mark of God’s care for creation. But [we] cannot help but create a world of fear constituted by the assumption that there is never enough. Such a world cannot help but be a world of injustice and violence because it is assumed that under conditions of scarcity our only chance for survival is to have more.”

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “There is never enough”…
      Give us our DAILY bread

      Fear of not having enough…
      Fear of not being enough…hmmm

      Reply
  11. Curtis

    I had never read The Message translation of the Lord’s Prayer before. I love how it renders the opening few lines.

    “Our Father in heaven,
    Reveal who you are.
    Set the world right;
    Do what’s best—
    as above, so below.”

    Yes. Reveal who you are and set the world right, and use me however you can.

    Reply

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