Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Why the Big Bible Week?

Here's my Parish Mag 'View from the Vicarage' for October explaining why we're embarking on this Big Bible week that's got me all agitated and enthusiastic...

If someone offered you a gift that promised eternal life, that unfolded the deepest truth and that shared the wisdom and love of the creator of the universe with you, would you want it?  If you were freely given something that could change your life, and change the world around you for the better would you accept something like that?

Well, we do have something like that – we have our Scriptures, the Holy Bible.  The Bible is God’s direct communication with us, it is source of our faith, our life, our hope, our truth and it within it’s covers, as the Thirty-Nine articles of the Church of Englad say, it “containeth all things necessary to salvation.”

It takes some work, though.  There are ‘strings attached’.  Our Bibles need to be read, to be thought about, to be wrestled with.  We need to be willing to put into action the truths and the demands which are within.  We should actually be picking up our Bibles and seeing what is there on the page, and asking for God’s help, through his Holy Spirit, to understand and live what we find there.

The Bible is a precious treasure that we describe as the word of God.  If God has chosen to share his life and his love with us in our Bibles it’s a wonder that any of us can be dragged away from them.  There are riches within Holy Scripture that offer wisdom and truth greater than we can imagine, and unlike many of the Holy Books of the faiths of the world we can own Bibles ourselves, we can read them in our own homes, or on the train, or in Church, or with family.  We have the Bible in translations that are easy to grasp and we have thousands, if not millions, of resources to help us delve deep into this wonderful, exciting library of books we call the Bible.

What is in our Bible is more than we could ever grasp by listening to little bits of the Bible in Church on a Sunday.  It talks about the way to live, the love and the work of God, it gives advice, admonishes, challenges, inspires and builds up faith. 

It is worth celebrating.

And that is what we will be doing in the middle of October, our Big Bible Week.  I am not going to go through all of the events that we have, you’ll see that later on in the Parishes Paper, but to say that all of our Mission Community ministers will have a very active role in what is going on.  We will have puppeteers from Honiton Community Church, ‘Thespians’ and musicians from our Mission Community, worship leaders, the Diocesan Missioner Anna Norman-Walker, the Vicar of Uplyme Gavin Tyte, Cllr Peter Halse sharing his own story of what the Bible means to him, David Hopper on Bible and Film and much more.

I would encourage all of you to come and share in the events we are putting on, this is a very special week and there will be much that you can gain from all of what is happening.  And it is our Mission Week – meaning that it is our chance to draw others in to take part in this exciting exploration of the precious gift of Scripture.  Big Bible Week – celebrating God’s word in the world!

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