May 1
Judges 13:1-14:20
John 1:29-51
Psalm 102:1-28
Proverbs 14:15-16 

May 2
Judges 15:1-16:31
John 2:1-25
Psalm 103:1-22
Proverbs 14:17-19 

May 3
Judges 17:1-18:31
John 3:1-21
Psalm 104:1-23
Proverbs 14:20-21 

May 4
Judges 19:1-20:48
John 3:22-4:3
Psalm 104:24-35
Proverbs 14:22-24 

May 5
Judges 21:1-Ruth 1:22
John 4:4-42
Psalm 105:1-15
Proverbs 14:25 

May 6
Ruth 2:1-4:22
John 4:43-54
Psalm 105:16-36
Proverbs 14:26-27 

May 7
1 Samuel 1:1-2:21
John 5:1-23
Psalm 105:37-45
Proverbs 14:28-29 

May 8
1 Samuel 2:22-4:22
John 5:24-47
Psalm 106:1-12
Proverbs 14:30-31 

May 9
1 Samuel 5:1-7:17
John 6:1-21
Psalm 106:13-31
Proverbs 14:32-33 

May 10
1 Samuel 8:1-9:27
John 6:22-42
Psalm 106:32-48
Proverbs 14:34-35 

Read the Bible in a year

May 21
1 Samuel 29:1-31:13
John 11:55-12:19
Psalm 118:1-18
Proverbs 15:24-26 

May 22
2 Samuel 1:1-2:11
John 12:20-50
Psalm 118:19-29
Proverbs 15:27-28 

May 23
2 Samuel 2:12-3:39
John 13:1-30
Psalm 119:1-16
Proverbs 15:29-30 

May 24
2 Samuel 4:1-6:23
John 13:31-14:14
Psalm 119:17-32
Proverbs 15:31-32 

May 25
2 Samuel 7:1-8:18
John 14:15-31
Psalm 119:33-48
Proverbs 15:33 

May 26
2 Samuel 9:1-11:27
John 15:1-27
Psalm 119:49-64
Proverbs 16:1-3 

May 27
2 Samuel 12:1-31
John 16:1-33
Psalm 119:65-80
Proverbs 16:4-5 

May 28
2 Samuel 13:1-39
John 17:1-26
Psalm 119:81-96
Proverbs 16:6-7 

May 29
2 Samuel 14:1-15:22
John 18:1-24
Psalm 119:97-112
Proverbs 16:8-9 

May 30
2 Samuel 15:23-16:23
John 18:25-19:22
Psalm 119:113-128
Proverbs 16:10-11 

May 31
2 Samuel 17:1-29
John 19:23-42
Psalm 119:129-152
Proverbs 16:12-13

May 11
1 Samuel 10:1-11:15
John 6:43-71
Psalm 107:1-43
Proverbs 15:1-3 

May 12
1 Samuel 12:1-13:23
John 7:1-30
Psalm 108:1-13
Proverbs 15:4 

May 13
1 Samuel 14:1-52
John 7:31-53
Psalm 109:1-31
Proverbs 15:5-7 

May 14
1 Samuel 15:1-16:23
John 8:1-20
Psalm 110:1-7
Proverbs 15:8-10 

May 15
1 Samuel 17:1-18:4
John 8:21-30
Psalm 111:1-10
Proverbs 15:11 

May 16
1 Samuel 18:5-19:24
John 8:31-59
Psalm 112:1-10
Proverbs 15:12-14 

May 17
1 Samuel 20:1-21:15
John 9:1-41
Psalm 113:1-114:8
Proverbs 15:15-17 

May 18
1 Samuel 22:1-23:29
John 10:1-21
Psalm 115:1-18
Proverbs 15:18-19 

May 19
1 Samuel 24:1-25:44
John 10:22-42
Psalm 116:1-19
Proverbs 15:20-21 

May 20
1 Samuel 26:1-28:25
John 11:1-54
Psalm 117:1-2
Proverbs 15:22-23 

Listening for God: together and individually
Listening for the voice and direction of God is hard work!  Sometimes I wish it were more like Biblical times when God seemed to communicate with God’s people more directly.  It would be so helpful to have a voice coming from a burning bush like Moses.  Or to hear God give specific instructions for life like were given to Noah about the ark and animals.  Or perhaps like Paul, we could get whacked upside of the head and in one instant change our entire way of being.  Even though most of us most of the time do not hear from God in these ways, I hope and I pray that we do still seek to discern God’s voice and direction amid the cacophony of voices around us.

I believe that we best discern God’s voice and direction collectively as God’s people.  Listening for God really does work best in community.  The saying “two heads are better than one” definitely applies for listening to and for God.  Collectively, through individual prayer, communal prayer, and conversation with one another, God’s voice and direction can more faithfully be discerned, than if only one person or only a few are doing the discerning for the group.  Often when  many among a group of God’s people are called or feel pulled in one direction, this is the will and voice of God speaking.  While this is not always the case (including sometimes in the Bible like when the Biblical prophets stand up and call for the people of Israel to return to their faithful worship of God), more often than not, we do make more faithful decisions together than we do individually.  This is one of the reasons why I believe it is so important to have open and honest communication as a congregation.  This type of communication helps us all hear our individual discernment as part of the communal discernment of the faith community.

While it’s fairly clear that discerning God’s direction together involves us all putting our heads together and listening alongside of one another, it’s less clear how to discern and listen for God in our individual lives.  Individually, I believe the way to listen for God’s voice is to listen within yourself to what God may be doing and saying for your life, and then checking that voice with what others may believe and hear as God’s call for you and your life.

A great example of this discernment working is when a person is called into rostered leadership in the ELCA (for instance, when someone discerns that they feel called to be a pastor).  There is a two part call for individuals and for the wider community.  First, an individual, by their own volition, needs to be compelled or pulled into ordained ministry.  Then secondly, the community must affirm this calling.  In our church this happens by an individual having a sense through prayer and listening for God that God is calling them to be a pastor.  They need to discern that it is not only their dream, but God’s dream for them as well.  As this sense of call is beginning to develop inside of someone, they then need confirmation from a wider community that others also see them as being called to be a pastor.  Often this begins with trusted and close friends and family and their home faith community or congregation.  From here then the wider church affirms this calling through a process called candidacy.  At various steps along the way towards becoming an ordained minister this calling is confirmed both internally and by the wider church.

Listening for the voice and direction of God is challenging both communally and as individuals.  By collectively discerning their future direction, I believe a group of faithful people can more fully hear the direction in which God is calling them together.  As individuals, listening for one’s own calling and then receiving confirmation of that calling by the community can help us discern where and how God is calling each of us in our own lives.

Faithfully and humbly listening for God alongside of you,
Pastor Adam

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