When you hear the term "Bible Reading Marathon" what comes to mind? Does your mind conjure up visions of fit and athletic people running steadily towards a finish line with a leather-bound King James Bible clutched tightly in hand as they race towards the goal?
Are you possibly imagining rows and rows of tables occupied by people frantically paging through gold leaf sheaves of scripture, all in an effort to read quickly through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation before the competition? Well, there aren't any Bible Reading Marathons like that as far as I know. But keep reading and learn about the Bible reading Marathon that does exist, and how you may be able participate in an upcoming marathon.
In essence, a Bible reading marathon is a community organized read-a-thon. And no, it is not an activity that needs to be completed all in one go. I recently had a conversation with Arkansas woman Bonnie Roediger who alongside her husband Jessie, is one of the organizers of this major event that is held annually. The purpose of the Bible reading marathon is to promote public Bible reading here in the United States and abroad.
I became aware of this event while browsing the internet. There was an article published in the digital newspaper The Harrison Daily Times,a local Arkansas publication. The article reported on the week-long event which invites local residents to come to a designated meetup in town and publicly read through the Bible. Those who choose not to participate in the reading, can listen to the reading which is broadcasted through speakers.
The marathon lasts one week and is open to the public and allows anyone to contribute to the public reading by offering time slots of 15 minutes (or longer if desired and available) to read the Word of God via the Bible of their choosing(byob or one can be provided). A designated table is setup with a microphone attached to speakers for all in attendance to hear.
The foundational Bible verse for this ministry is Isaiah 55:11 which states that God's word, once spoken, does not return void. But it accomplishes the principles for which it is set out.
According to Mrs. Roediger, her husband Jessie was led by the Spirit in the early 2000s to "go out and dig roads and plant seeds". Since that time the Roedigers have been consistently planting spiritual seeds everywhere they go by reading the Bible publically and planning and establishing new Bible Reading Marathons around the country.
Each town that hosts the ceremony is gracious enough to help them with the logistics of setting up their short-term gathering. Permits are secured, tents are pitched, and after an opening ceremony which includes prayer, the reading begins. The entirety of the Bible is read in a span of seven days, beginning from 8am and commencing at 6pm.
The Roedigers, operating under their organization's official name Bible Reading Marathon International(BRMI), had first participated in one of the original Bible Reading Marathons in the 90s which was established by Dr. John Hash of Bible Pathway Ministries. The Roedigers picked up the torch in the 2000s, and after procuring an RV, they set out for the long haul to trailblaze a tradition of open air community Bible reading in various US cities.
By visiting their website you can learn more about the organization, previous Bible Reading Marathons, upcoming BRMs, and how to establish your own BRM. The Roedigers have traveled to dozens of places nationwide, and have also travel to countries in Africa and Asia planting the seeds for new public scripture reading communities.
They have had much success, not only in connecting and fellowshipping with other believers of the faith, but in attracting new people who attended out of curiosity but occasionally discover and accept their salvation through Christ.
Although the purpose of BRM is not to proselytize, (actively seeking to convert others to the Christian faith through evangelizing), they have witnessed the miracle of people coming to the faith voluntarily after hearing the Word spoken aloud at these events.How are the Bible Reading Marathons organized and structured? According to Mrs. Roediger, each Gospel driven get-together is strategically designed through PLANNING, PRAYER, PARTICIPATION.
One fascinating anecdote shared with me was that of a young mother of three who attended one of the most recent events. Her son, a young boy of 8 years took his place at the microphone and read a portion of the Bible. Children participating is not so uncommon. What is uncommon is the fact that, according to the mother, the 8 year old has already read the entire Bible on his own at home! What an inspiration!
There is no age restriction or other exclusion for those who wish to come and read the Bible aloud. This includivity has the benefits of making anyone feel welcome, but also opens itself up to naysayers and negative opinions from those who don't approve of the event. Despite experiencing a few of these occasions, the organizers have received an outpouring of support from the communities in which the marathon has been hosted.
BRMI, a legally recognized non-profit organization (501c3), is always in need of and is gracious to accept financial and other types of support to assist them in continuing their traveling ministry. One of the organization's top concerns is the current long-haul vehicle that the Roedigers have been using. It is an RV that is over 20 years old. It has seen lots of gravel and asphalt and has many miles on it. A prayer request to receive a newer and updated RV was shared with me and I am now sharing that request here.
Anyone reading this article who is in a position to provide such a means or knows someone who is, please feel free to contact them at the website or email address which can be found at the bottom of this blog post.
For access to the complete phone conversation with Bonnie Roediger, please visit our YouTube channel Blvd 40 featuring more information Bible reading marathon as well as information on associated organizations such Bible Pathway Ministries, International Bible reading Association, and the Bible reading Marathon International website.
Are you an avid Bible reader? Have you ever read the entire Bible? Have you ever participated in a Bible reading Marathon? Would you like to watch Bible-driven content? Check out the Bible themed content we create on our YouTube channel Blvd 40. We would love to have you be a part of our #biblereadingparty. Subcribe today so you don't miss out on our latest video uploads.
If you enjoyed reading this article and would like to see more like it, bookmark this page and sign up for our newsletter located on bottom of the homepage to be alerted when new content is uploaded to this website.