Paper & Glam Sisters,
At long last, after two years of prep the Paper & Glam Bible Study is here!
Today we kick off our first year of God & Glam together. But before we begin, let's talk through the foundation for the study and the heart behind it.
You may be thinking that the weekend after Thanksgiving is an odd time to start a year long study, so let's start there.
When does the new year begin?
Is it January 1st with new year resolutions and a fresh planner? Or does the time of our lives restart with the academic year, after the summer when it's time to leverage the energy of fall to cozy up and get down to business.
Today, we're talking about a third way to mark the time of our lives: The Christian Year.
The Christian Year
The Christian year is modeled after the life of Christ, offering us the opportunity to embed His life into our own lives as they unfold day by day, season by season, year after year.
The Christian year begins on the first day of Advent, which is four Sundays from Christmas each year. This tradition began during the dawn of Christianity, in the 4th century when Roman Emperor Constantine designated December 25th as the official birth of Christ. This year, Advent begins on Sunday, December 3rd.
Advent is a time of prayer and reflection, but also one of hope and celebration. The first two weeks of Advent are a reflective time of preparation, marked by deep shades of purple. The third Sunday of Advent is marked by pinks which represents a change in atmosphere from reflection and preparation, to joyful anticipation as we grow closer to the coming of Christ.
In addition to it's own calendar year, the Christian year also includes colors and themes for each season. If you're a part of the Paper & Glam Planning and Seasonal Living communities, this is starting to sound familiar, right? Much like the church has marked the seasons of Jesus' life with color and celebration, I've instilled a similar rhythm into the Paper & Glam lifestyle with colors and celebrations for each month.
With that foundation, I was inspired to develop a seasonal living Bible Study following the liturgical year, also known as the Christian Year.
Living the Christian Year
Living through the Christian year builds depth, beauty, and joy into our lives that grows richer and more impactful with each passing year. We live the Christian Year by reading through the life of Christ seasonally, and doing our best to live in light of the truths we encounter in His story.
The first half of the liturgical year follows the life of Christ from the joyful anticipation of his birth during Advent through his ascension into heaven. These events run roughly December through May each Christian Year.
During the second half of the liturgical year, June through November, we explore what it means to live a Christian life. Each week we will explore a new theme including rest, beauty, community, freedom, and many more, all in pursuit of knowing, loving and becoming a little more like Jesus everyday.
The God & Glam Bible Study
Let's talk logistics: what does it look like to participate in the God & Glam Bible Study?
The God & Glam Bible Study includes daily, seasonal readings with grace days sprinkled throughout the week. We know life doesn't fit into tidy planner boxes despite our best efforts, so grace days are designed to give you exactly that: the grace to start anew tomorrow. Our reading does grow heavier during Christmas and Easter, and as we transition between seasons. I recommend planning to read each day and using your grace days as needed.
When does the God & Glam Bible Study start?
The Christian Year begins anew the first Sunday of Advent. This year, that falls on December 3rd. This first week together we'll prepare by gathering our resources, setting aside time in our schedules, and beginning to read a few verse to set our hearts and minds for the year ahead.
How can I prepare?
- Download or purchase the God & Glam Bible Study Reading Guide.
- Bible: Any Bible will work! This my personal Bible, and the one I've used for the past 6 years. While I have quite the Bible collection including The Jesus Bible, She Reads Truth Bible, Inspire Bible, Message Canvas Bible, and the ESV Journaling Bible, this tattered pink Bible remains my very favorite.
- Living the Christian Year: Invest in a copy of Bobby Gross' book Living the Christian Year. This is an invaluable resource exploring and unpacking our liturgical daily readings.
- Planner or Journal: You'll want a place to plan your daily reading and take notes. I'll be using the Glam Planner Horizontal for this purpose.
- Open your heart and your life by setting aside an hour a day as your sacred time with the Lord.
What time of day is best?
A general guideline is to give God your best. Pick the time of day you are at your most rested and least distracted. I'm at my best from 6:30 AM to 7:30 AM with a hot cup of coffee, sitting in the silence watching the sunrise. I've held this time out as uninterruptible for the last six years and it's made all the difference.
How can I participate and connect with other members of the community?
Our home base will be the God & Glam Facebook Group. While I understand not everyone chooses to use Facebook, the platform is the most interactive and user-friendly.
I'll also be posting on the @godandglam instagram and here on the blog as often as possible. Those platforms also offer us the opportunity to connect with, and encourage, one another.
As with Paper & Glam, I've got big plans for God & Glam! In future years, I'd like to create more resources including a weekly post here on the blog, a weekly video on the God & Glam YouTube channel, plus a God & Glam planner, journal, and devotional.
For now, we're starting where we are with the tools and internet spaces I've outlined above.
If the heart behind this study resonates with you, I'd be honored to read and worship the Lord alongside you and grow together this year.
Are you in for a year of living and learning together? I'd love to know in the comments below!
Let's start today!
If you're ready to begin the God & Glam Bible Study, pick-up your copy of Living The Christian Year and begin with reading the Foreward, Introduction to Sacred Time, and Preparing for Advent (pages 1-48). This week, we can plan for 10 pages a day, with a couple grace days in there. Then, next Sunday, we'll start the Christian year together on page 49 as we begin Advent, the season of joyful anticipation.
The preparation week in the God & Glam Reading Plan guides us through what I've found to be the most transformative verses in the Bible; that are not included elsewhere in our year of study. As you begin to read through Living the Christian Year, meditate one of these verses each day. This will open your heart and your mind for the year ahead, and get us in the routine of daily prayer and worship, before we officially begin next Sunday.
I'll leave you with this excerpt from the Foreword which so beautifully captures what you can expect along our journey together:
One of my goals in life is to inhabit the Christian year so fully that Advent will be the instinctive beginning of my year. I want the Christian story to shape everything I do, even how I reckon time. Jesus drew my attention to Himself, and the church calendar has kept it fixed there -- on him. If you really live into Advent - rather than starting Christmas the day after Thanksgiving - and if you really live into a season of Easter that lasts long after the peeps are gone, you will be doing something so countercultural that it will not escape the notice of your friends and neighbors -- and they will ask you why you are doing the things you are doing -- and you will have a chance to tell them something about Jesus.
− Lauren F. Winner, Living The Christian Year
For more God & Glam, I'm walking through everything we've discussed today and my heart for the God & Glam Bible Study over on the Paper & Glam YouTube Channel.