(By Tammy Warren, Presbyterian Mission Agency). It was the voice of my friend Ed, reading Scriptures about the Bible character Job, that touched me most.
Ed is battling cancer, and yet he braved the cold wind and rain to join others from our church in participating in the Kentucky 120 United Bible Reading Marathon, sponsored by Kentucky Prayer Focus. As I listened to Ed read (and get choked up at times), I tried to imagine the agony of Job in sackcloth and ashes, scratching his itchy sores, waiting to no avail for his well-meaning friends to offer comfort and encouragement.
Now in its second year, the statewide Bible-reading marathon works with clergy and volunteers so that the entire Bible is read simultaneously, nonstop, in all 120 counties in Kentucky during the first days of the new year. The readings began at 12:01 a.m. New Year’s Day and finished around 6 p.m. on January 4.
Statewide organizers provided specific Scripture references divided among 30 three-hour segments, referred to as “watches.” Churches, youth groups and other religious entities adopted the watches. Each watch captain recruited six to 12 readers. Speaking at a normal pace, readers covered about 35 chapters in a three-hour watch.
Al Earley, pastor of LaGrange Presbyterian Church and president of the Oldham County Ministerial Association, coordinated Oldham County’s involvement in this year’s Bible-reading marathon. He arranged for daytime readings from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to be held at the gazebo on Courthouse Square in LaGrange. Other readings were held indoors at churches of various denominations countywide.