II Corinthians 5:17 is one of my life verses. “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new.”
The Greek word Paul chose for new in this verse is kainos referencing a new creation that has not existed previously. This has greater implications than if Paul had instead used neos, meaning new in an already established category.
The biblical concept of kainos new is a pillar of Christian doctrine. Since God is about the work of making us new every day, we are transformed throughout our lives into a new creation, continuously growing in our resemblance to the one we follow, Jesus Christ. Evidence of this transformation is seen in our words, attitudes, actions, and lifestyle.
One way that we open ourselves to experience kainos new is by practicing the spiritual discipline of reading Scripture. This is because we encounter God is in the pages of Scripture. And each time we meet the living God, we are changed.
With that in mind, I invite you to join me in reading through the Bible together as a North Alabama Conference in 2022. This initiative which was first launched in North Alabama in 2019 by our Adult Ministries Team is a way in which we open ourselves to experience God's presence and kainos new on an individual basis and as a conference.
While we will be reading the Bible through the year from cover-to-cover, each week participants will read from the Gospel, Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy and the Epistles. A detailed reading list will be made available after registering for Read Together 2022.
I have discovered first-hand how formative it is for an individual to read the Bible cover-to-cover each year. This is multiplied many times more as we Read Together as a North Alabama community.
Many thanks to the Adult Ministries Team, chaired by Stephanie Sparks and staffed by Assistant Director of Communication Lyn Cosby, for their work across the years on the Read Together initiative. The team will be publicizing the details of Read Together 2022 in the near future. In the meantime, please prayerfully consider joining me in reading through the Bible in 2022 as we continue to become kainos new in Christ as individuals and as a North Alabama community.
As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
Holston and North Alabama Conferences