In the last few years the phrase “Bucket List” has come into the American lexicon. A bucket list is a list of this to accomplish before you die. There is some sort of TV show related to this that I have never seen, but from the few snips I have seen, it is mostly about frivolous, even unpleasant stuff.

But for the Christian the Scriptures announce a number of things that we well out to have either done or have up and running long before we die. Our goal is to die in an act of loving God, to die in the life giving transformation relationship we we call faith. And our prayer is that grace and mercy have had the necessary affects to make us ready to go home and be with God.

The list that I present here is modified by me a bit, but in essence not original to me. It comes from Joel Meredith’s Complete Book of Bible Lists: A One-of-a-Kind Collection of Bible Facts. Consider well this bucket list and share it with others. Are you ready to go meet God? Let’s see.

1.    It becomes us to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15).
2.    Live, not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
3.    Worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve (Matthew 4:10).
4.    Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
5.    Repent and believe the Good News! (Mark 1:15)
6.    You must be born again through baptism (John 3:7).
7.    Worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
8.    Repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38).
9.    Take and Eat, This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me (Mark 14:22).
10.    Reckon yourselves dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:11).
11.    Present your bodies a living sacrifice unto God (Romans 12:1).
12.    Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit (1 Corinthians 6:20).
13.    Desire spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1).
14.    Stand fast in the faith (1 Corinthians 16:13).
15.    Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30).
16.    Be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
17.    Pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18).
18.    Rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 3:1).
19.    Set your heart on things above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God, rather than things of earth  (Colossians 3:1–2).
20.    Let the peace of God rule in your heart (Colossians 3:15).
21.    Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom (Colossians 3:16).
22.    Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father through him (Colossians 3:17).
23.    Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
24.    In everything give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
25.    Do not neglect your spiritual gift (1 Timothy 4:14).
26.    Lay hold on eternal life (1 Timothy 6:12).
27.    Be not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord (2 Timothy 1:8).
28.    Strive to enter into the rest of the people of God (Hebrews 4:11).
29.    Hold fast to your profession of faith without wavering (Hebrews 10:23).
30.    The just shall live by faith (Hebrews 10:38).
31.    Keep Holy the Sabbath, do not neglect to Meet together each Sunday (Heb 10:25).
32.    Despise not the correction of the Lord, for whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives (Hebrews 12:5–6).
33.    Make straight paths for your feet, Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:13-14).
34.    Refuse not Him who speaks and warns from heaven (Hebrews 12:25).
35.    Offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name (Hebrews 13:15).
36.    Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21).
37.    Submit yourselves to God (James 4:7).
38.    Is any among you afflicted? Let him send for the priests of the Church, let them anoint him (James 5:13).
39.    Declare your sins by regular celebration of Confession (John 20:21-23; James 5:13).
40.    Declare with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. (Romans 10:9)
41.    Sanctify the Lord God in your heart (1 Peter 3:15).
42.    Commit the keeping of your soul to God in well doing (1 Peter 4:19).
43.    Cast all your care upon him, for he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
44.    Look for and hasten the coming of the Day of Lord (2 Peter 3:12).
45.    Devote yourself to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
46.    Build up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost (Jude 20).
47.    Keep yourselves in the love of God (Jude 21).
48.    Remember from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works (Revelation 2:5).
49.    Fear God, and give glory to him (Revelation 14:7).
50.    Worship him that made heaven, and earth, and sea, and the fountains of waters (Revelation 14:7).

OK, there it is, the Bucket List. See to it now. If you would like to print it out, here is a PDF of the document: A Biblical Bucket List for Believers.

I am sure some of you will wish to add. But if you do add, what would you subtract? 50 is kind of a handy number. By the way, the short list is always Acts 2:42:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching (Scripture)
and to fellowship (Church attendance),
to the Breaking of Bread (Eucharist and all the Sacraments)
and to prayer (liturgical and private).

Finally the Book of James says, Adulterers! don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4) And in this light, the bucket list helps us to forsake our inordinate love of this world and turn to God our true Love.

And thus, for those who would love this world the bucket list of 50 items becomes a kind of “50 ways to leave your lover” (i.e. the world):

19 Responses

  1. Dismas says:

    Brilliant use of video! Haven’t heard or thought about this song for a very long time. After I reached #50 I was feeling not just a little dejected until the video brought forth a laugh and a certain joy. I have to admit, although I don’t have a better title and realize this is not the intent, that referring to this as a bucket list brings to mind the idea of checking off the God box and being done with it.

  2. Rouxfus says:

    From the Most Necessary Prayers section of The Roman Missal (1962):


    Remember, Christian soul, that thou hast this day, and every day of thy life:

    God to glorify,
    Jesus to imitate,
    The Angels and Saints to invoke.
    A soul to save,
    A body to mortify,
    Sins to expiate,
    Virtues to acquire,
    Hell to avoid,
    Heaven to gain,
    Eternity to prepare for,
    Time to profit by.
    Neighbors to edify,
    The world to despise,
    Devils to combat,
    Passions to subdue,
    Death perhaps to suffer,
    Judgement to undergo.

  3. vincent apisa says:

    Msgr.,

    Do double-check your number nine again. “Do this in remembrance of me” appears only in Luke, not in Mark as you indicate. If I recall correctly, that was an issue for Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great 19th century essayist, who wrote an essay — I don’t have the citation so I’m probably gooning up the facts — in which he declined further taking communion on grounds that Christ did not mean to institutionalize it. Of the evangelists, I think Emerson’s story goes, two were eyewitnesses to the Last Supper and neither wrote do this in memory of me. Those words appear only in Luke and in St. Paul, and Luke was likely Paul’s disciple. It struck Emerson as odd that the two eyewitnesses were silent on such an important issue as the institutionalization of the eucharist, — even though the first generation of Christians broke bread in memory of the Lord and did not have during their lifetimes a document that later generations would call the New Testament. Emerson’s fallacy is a good example of misreading the historical record by relying solely on Scripture for guidance.

    • Nathan says:

      Of course, all the Synoptics include the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper with only Luke recording “do this in remembrance of me.” John has the Bread of Life discourse, which speaks most clearly of the Eucharist, especially in light of Christ’s words “this is my body” at the Last Supper. St Paul’s testimony is the earliest, reflecting the liturgical prayers said by the Early Christians. God Bless.

  4. Annette Strachan says:

    So you can pray to Our Lady, Mother of God,and our Mother.

  5. Jose says:

    Great! 50 readings before Pentecost! Challenge accepted.

  6. Tyler says:

    Thanks! Inspiring article and now I like the song by Paul Simon to boot!

  7. RichardC says:

    I don’t want to subtract any of them, so I won’t add any. #40 was my favorite when I read the list.

  8. Brent Goodman says:

    This made me think about what to get right first,……. before you do anything else.

  9. Breasedh says:

    This made me think about what to get right first……and what ever happens after that, is up to the Lord.

  10. Annette Strachan says:

    The seven sorrows of Our Lady are all biblical, First, Mary accepted His Holy will.

  11. Annette Strachan says:

    Mary accepted God’s Holy Will..

  12. mary lou says:

    Amazing I should come across this website …showing Most Necessary Prayers (list of 17) today….my 76th ‘b’ day! Happy ‘b’ day to me:)

  13. mary lou says:

    guess i don t know how to ‘submit comment’.

  14. Donna says:

    This is great! So helpful.

  15. Rosemary says:

    The list is great; sort of a mini-catechism which is good for young and/or new Catholics and for those of us who have forgotten a few aspects of our faith.
    But the song? It is a lesson in cynicism and how to dispose of people without feeling guilty about it. I don’t see the connection (or contrast) of that to anything in Catholicism. There should be some better song out there that addresses the false idols of this world. Perhaps someone would like to make suggestions.

    If you want a song that is negative about the lures of this world, about 20+ years ago there was a song about the daily life of a rock star and all the lovely perks that go with that life, done in a facetious manner. I think it was “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits. The lyrics are, um, less than lyrical but they critique the lifestyle of someone who covets earthly goods – like most of us, I suppose. “That’s the way you do it.” It is a commentary on an empty life, (a life without God, it seems to me), whereas Simon’s song is very personal in which he seems to advocate a life without commitment. I always found it depressing whereas the Dire Straits songs was more in the self-critical vein. Oh, well!

    • Jennifer says:

      This song was popular during my childhood. It is kind of about making people (who once meant something to you) disposable.

  16. Ezekiel M. Adejoh says:

    Great article. Let us remember that God has Called 2 live a holy life in the midst of decaying world n also 2 preach d word 2 dying sinner. Lets awake n do d will of God our Father

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