Embracing its identity as a Christ-first institution, PBA is continuing its tradition of reading through the Bible out loud for the ninth consecutive year.
Dedicated students, staff and faculty take 30-minute turns reading through the entirety of the Bible over the course of the week, said Kara Wenger, director of residence life, which sponsors the read-a-thon. President William M. B. Fleming, Jr. began with Matthew 6 as a reminder of this year’s theme, Power of Prayer, before returning to Genesis. Subsequent readers continue from 7:30 a.m. to midnight each day, finishing with Revelation on Friday.
Similar read-a-thons occur at throughout the community and globally at various times, Wenger said, and “we wanted to integrate that on our campus.”
“Because of our faith and spiritual vitality, we think it’s a privilege to be able to read God’s Word and declare it over our campus,” she said. “It invites the Holy Spirit to be at work among our students.”
About 140 to 150 volunteers take turns reading from scripture, Wenger said. Those who’d like to sign up or sit and listen should stop by the Rinker Pit.
Discipleship assistants, students who nurture the spiritual health of fellow students in their residence halls, are integral to organizing and participating in Read through the Bible.
“We’re a Christian university and I think it’s really awesome that we gather together to read God’s Word,” said Mary-Louise Parkkila, a junior ministry major and discipleship assistant. “It is alive and actively working in our lives. Even if you’ve read the Bible, there’s a lot to learn, whether you are reading, or whether you are listening.”
Discipleship Assistant Abby Hamm, a junior studying ministry, read Leviticus 7 to 14, which describes the strict requirements of the law governing the Jewish people. Reading from the Old Testament book of law gave her new insight into King David’s prayer in Psalm 51 for the Lord to purge him with hyssop so that he might be clean, Hamm said.
Historically, the Bible was read to Israel, and the people were convicted to live differently when they heard it, Hamm said.
“It’s a great way to worship and demonstrate that we are a Christ-first University,” Hamm said. “It shows your personal priorities that you’re willing to take 30 minutes of your day and read the Bible.”
Photo 1: President William M. B. Fleming, Jr. begins the University's Read through the Bible tradition in the Rinker Pit on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019.
Photo 2: Assistant Dean of Students Kate Magro reads Genesis 28 to 33 as part of PBA's Read through the Bible tradition.