Cathi Kennedy shares her takeaways from completing the Bible in (almost) a Year.
I recently finished the Ascension Press Bible in a Year series. Despite the title, it took me a bit longer than 365 days, about 160 days longer. For some, that would seem like a fail, but I consider it a huge accomplishment! Here are my takeaways.
- The Word of God is consistent. From the first word in Genesis to the last word in Revelation, the message never changes, never wavers. It is dependable, it is true, it is truth.
- Other than receiving Jesus in the Eucharist at Mass, no practice has EVER grown my faith or changed my relationship with God more than being immersed in His Word.
- It's best to read along with Father Mike. I tried listening to a few episodes while driving, and I did not retain nearly as much. Distractions can happen when you sit with a book in front of you, but it's much easier to refocus than if you are trying to pay attention while driving or cleaning the house, and so on.
- I thought I knew the Bible well. It turns out I did NOT know the Bible. I can recite the names of the books of the Bible, quote a few verses, and have a well-worn Bible I took to church every Sunday—but none of these translates to KNOWING the Bible.
- Reading through the Bible once is not enough. I once heard that the Bible should not be viewed as a single book but as a library. Guaranteed that when I go through the BIAY the next time, I will say, "Wow, I don't remember that," almost every day, but that’s ok. How many times have you read 73 books and felt like you grasped all the content the first time through?
- I didn't finish the Bible in a Year in 365 days. There were weeks at a time when I didn't listen to a single episode. But I kept at it. Sometimes it takes 525 days to finish something that others can complete much quicker—it doesn't negate the value of the action. When I was a runner, it took me three times as long to finish most distances than the average runner—but a mile is still a mile no matter how long it takes. If you've started and got off track, simply pick up where you left off.
- I was a part of a vast community—millions(!) of people subscribed to the BIAY podcast. And although we all did not start and end the series together, Father Mike was great at reminding us that we were not on this journey alone.
- When you immerse yourself in God's Word, buckle up. Be prepared for this to change you. You will find yourself empowered and encouraged; at first, you may not connect the dots. But be assured that it's called the living Word of God for a reason. It will change you.
- The messages of the Bible come to us when we need them most. I can't tell you the number of times that the daily reading or Father Mike's reflections directly related to something happening in my life at that moment. I may not have completed the series in 365 days, but what I read and heard was God's time every time.
- It changed my prayer life. Father Mike once remarked that there was someone listening who was having their worst day at that moment. That stopped me in my tracks. I now pray for all the people having their worst day.
- I can't wait to start again. The more I learn about my faith and Christianity's history, the more I want to continue learning.
If you’ve completed the Bible In a Year podcast, that’s wonderful! I hope it changed your life! If you haven’t started, I encourage you to start today; and if you got off track, just begin where you left off. You will not regret it. The Word of God has been changing lives for more than two thousand years; what a gift it is. Amen.
Copyright 2022 Cathi Kennedy
About the Author
Cathi Kennedy is passionate about building relationships. At the University of Notre Dame, she advises graduate students for the Mendoza College of Business. An impassioned writer, voracious reader, and aspiring knitter married to a musician and mom to two amazing sons, Cathi is a convert to Catholicism. She seeks to learn something new about her faith every day.