Monday, 28 October 2013

Celebrating the Bible

Sunday 27 October was widely celebrated as "Bible Sunday." At St Paul's, everyone was encouraged to bring a Bible with them, especially ones that had a particular significance. Our Reader (lay Minister) Colin Chettle, who was leading the service, asked people what lay behind their choices and demonstrated how fortunate we were to have such a range of different translations and paraphrases. He also amused the young people (and probably others) with some (rather bad) jokes about the Bible, such as: Question: who was the best comedian in the Bible. Answer: Samson, he brought the house down!

In his sermon, are our other Reader, Hugh James, showed the importance that Jesus gave to the Bible of his time, the old Testament, and based his claims of being the Messiah, on it. He went on to show how Paul the apostle based his teaching using the words of Jesus and those of the old Testament as of equal value. He challenged the church to take time to "read, mark, learn and inwardly digest" the words of the Bible.

To Christians, the Bible is of vital importance as it tells of God's love for the world and the way that he has brought liberation through Jesus. Yet there are still many people in the world who have yet to have the Bible translated into their own "heart language" – their primary language. And there are many others who live in areas of the world where the Bible is a forbidden book and owning one is an imprisonable offence.

We remembered both these groups in our prayers as well as the Bible Society and others, who seek to make the Bible available to all.