Our current message series, grounded in the conviction that “we all have a story worth sharing,” has reminded me of some of the most inspiring stories that have been shared with me.
At the beginning of 2017, we did a message series entitled, “Is This the Book for Me?” Our hope was to inspire our church family to more deeply invest in the practice of reading the Bible on a daily basis, but it was also a series that was inspired by a particular story.
Here is a portion of that opening message in which I shared the story that inspired me to begin 2017 with this series.
I hope it blesses you today.
Last May I got a call to do a funeral for one of our church members named Dorothy.
I went by the house to meet with Dorothy’s family and to prepare for the funeral service, we shared some time celebrating those things they treasured and loved about Dorothy and her life.
I was there to listen and to write down their stories but in the course of that conversation, one of the things that kept coming up was Dorothy’s Bible. When I asked them to tell me more about that, they told me about how Dorothy fell in love with reading the scriptures.
In the early ’80s, Dorothy was attending church with her daughter’s family on the first Sunday of a brand new year. That day the Pastor challenged his church to read through the entire Bible over the course of that next year. Inspired by that message, Dorothy went home and bought a brand new Bible to read through over the course of that year.
By the time the year was finished, she had not only completed that task but enjoyed it so much that she decided to do it again the following year. She completed her second trip through the scriptures the following year, and that practice was repeated each and every year for the rest of her life.
As she got older and her grandkids continued to mature, Dorothy continued this yearly discipline with a renewed focus. Beginning with her oldest grandchild, Dorothy bought a new Bible at the beginning of each year and read through all year with that grandchild in mind. She made notes in the margins. She wrote out her prayers for their life, and at the end of that year, that particular grandchild received their Bible as a Christmas gift from their grandmother.
That was a gift that Dorothy was able to give to each of her seven grandchildren.
The title that we came up with for this series in order to entice you to come and hear these five messages is the question, Is this the Book for Me?
But for me personally, the title will always be what I wrote down originally as I was praying about how we would start this new year together which was, ”A series for Dorothy.”