Along with two fellow pastors from the community, Joel Croswell and Dale Huston, I had the privilege of meeting this past week with Amie Wiebe, director for the Southern BC branch of the Canadian Bible Society. The purpose of our time together was to begin arrangements for a Proclamation! event for the Valley.
There are moments when one has a profound sense of the Lord’s leading and the impulse to help initiate a Proclamation! event has been one of those experiences. From the first time I heard of the event, I felt a stirring in my heart – a longing to celebrate and speak out the loveliness of God’s Word in scripture.
Proclamation! is a project of reading the whole of the Bible out loud over a period of roughly ten days, from 7 am in the morning to 9 pm in the evening. Each day is broken into 14 hour long segments. Each segment allows approximately 45 minutes for the readings, (offered by anywhere from three to ten readers, using their preferred translation of scripture, including languages other than English) followed by a short interval for refreshments, fellowship and prayer. (As a note, the reading is not sequential, i.e., from Genesis straight through to Revelation; rather the Bible Society has arranged the scripture readings in such a way that there is a continuous mix of Old Testament and New Testament readings each hour). At the end of the ten days, a service of Praise would be held.
If every volunteer reader read only one section of scripture (a section might be anywhere from five to fifteen verses), we would need more than 1,300 volunteers for the project. I am excited to see the response of believers across the Valley to join in the reading, and more importantly, in the listening to God’s Word in scripture.
We have scheduled Proclamation! to take place here in the Cowichan Valley beginning on Wednesday, March 21 and culminating with our annual interchurch service on Palm Sunday. Our hope is to have the event be hosted in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian from Wednesday to Friday; in St. John’s Anglican on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday (Sunday being left free for regular services) and in Duncan Pentecostal on Wednesday through Friday plus Saturday afternoon. Then the final service of praise would be our Palm Sunday service that we traditionally have held in Duncan Christian Reformed Church.
Psalm 19 celebrates the majesty of God’s Word as being perfect, trustworthy, right, radiant, pure, sure and altogether righteous. The Psalmist affirmed God’s Word as being able to revive the soul and make wise the simple. The Word, the Psalmist said, could bring joy to the heart and light to the eyes and would endure forever. Above all, the writer declared that this holy Word from God was more precious than gold and sweeter than honey.
It is that precious Word, that Bread of Life, that manna from heaven and holy gift of wisdom, truth and promise that we long to have proclaimed with thankfulness and power and joy. God promises that his Word goes forth and will not come back empty. What a harvest of blessing to anticipate as the Church proclaims that wondrous Word!
The Canadian Bible Society has a great video outlining the Proclamation! event. The link is http://www.biblesociety.ca/node/1625 .