Rev. Carey Grady

Rev. Carey Grady, Senior pastor of Reid Chapel AME, elected as Co-President of Midlands Organized Response for Equity (M.O. R. E.) Justice.

As a child I use to often say in the summer, “I can’t wait for Christmas.” My grandmother would reply, “you can’t do anything but wait.” She did it such a way that put you in your place and made you think all at the same time. Waiting is such a painful act for people who are busy bodies and who want instant access.

The Holiday season has ended and we are at the beginning of a brand new year. By the Grace of God we are privileged to be living in 2020. One of the great tragedies of modern life is how people live with such urgency for the next best thing. We are so busy for the future we forget the beauty of the present and the right now.

As we begin the New Year recognize that we can only live it one day at a time. Of course we have to make preparations for the future: events, trips, job deadlines, etc. But the future can’t be lived without present day preparation. If we can’t enjoy the present moment can we really enjoy the future.

One way of ensuring that we can enjoy present moments and present realities is creating an environment of sacred peace daily. We live so fast we can’t gather our thoughts, express ourselves and we are unable to organize and can’t plan for the future. There are so many books and pamphlets that are written about organizing ourselves. But having quiet time: prayer, Bible Reading and meditation help us stay focused for the year. These disciplines must be cultivated and groomed just like a gardener or farmer prepares his/her land for a crop. As Christians, we are to prepare for our future destination, but that can only be done daily and consistently.

There are several Bible Reading Programs that can help you complete the Bible in One Year. There is the Daily Walk Bible that begins in Genesis and everyday if you complete the assigned reading when December comes you will have completed the entire Bible.

There is also the One Year Bible. The One Year Bible has the Bible divided into daily readings: Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. In One Year if you faithfully read each daily reading you will have read the entire Old Testament and New Testament Once and the Book of Psalms and Proverbs twice. And course there are other programs that you can find in a study Bible or online. Whatever system you find -- if you follow it, it will be rewarding.

While Bible reading seems to be outdated, the Bible still tops the bestsellers list every year. People are buying the Bible, but are they reading consistently. I believe that every Christian, before we leave this physical earth, should read the Bible at least once from Genesis to Revelation.

My grandmother, who died in 1991 at age 97, in her lifetime read the Bible from cover to cover 14 times. She served as a Sunday School Superintendent for years and read books of the Bible out of sequence all the time in preparation for her Sunday school duties. She knew the book and she was not educated beyond the 8th Grade. Her mother had been a slave.

Grandma was part of that generation whose parents had been slaves and they insisted that their children learn to read. The first thing that first generation out of slavery learned to read was the Bible.

As a child, I realized that my grandmother was smart. I also realized that she knew the Bible backwards and forwards. The success in grandma’s life came from the wisdom she read daily.

Grandma’s daily habit of reading the word of God helped her raise 12 children, make wise decisions and survive in Jim Crow South Carolina. Grandma exemplified Wisdom and Peace. You could feel the presence of God in her home. This came from the environment she created every morning and evening when she opened the Bible and read.

When you make the commitment to read the Bible all kinds of distractions will come your way. You will misplace your Bible. Every time you sit down to read the Bible the phone will ring, someone will stop by to see you or you will get sleepy. That will be natural. Satan will not want you to read the Bible daily. But once you get disciplined and the universe knows nothing will stop you from reading, your entire life will change. If you want to experience a life changing 2020, pick a Bible Reading Program. Open your Bible and read and watch God do amazing things through you.

Rev. Carey A. Grady is the pastor of Reid Chapel, AME Church www.reidchapel.org in Columbia and blogs regularly at www.careyagrady.com.

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