My favourite psalm is Psalm 19. It starts with the undeniable fact that the natural world reflects God’s glory. Who of us has not, on occasion, been reminded of God’s majesty when looking at the skies?
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.”
Psalm 19 verses 1 – 3
But God, in his grace, has revealed so much more of himself to us through the Bible. Later in this wonderful psalm David goes on to extol God’s law or word – describing it as ‘perfect’, ‘trustworthy’, ‘more precious and pure than gold’, ‘reviving the soul’, ‘giving light to the eyes’ and ‘giving joy to the heart’.
As a teenager I was challenged to read the bible daily and I was given some bible reading notes. Bible notes provide a helpful way of meeting God in his word. Each day there is a prayer to prepare oneself, then a selected bible passage after which there is a section that explains the context of the writing when necessary and suggests practical responses for daily life. Some days my readings seem to me like eating Weetabix – good for me but not that memorable. But on other days, just as David found, I hear God’s voice speaking powerfully in the words I read and my soul is revived, or relieved, I sense God’s deep, far reaching love for me and those I pray for and my heart is filled with joy.
On the Alpha course we began in January we enjoyed a session about the Bible. We learned that it is the world’s best seller year on year, that parts of it have been translated into over 3000 languages (I didn’t know there were 3000 languages!) and we listened to interviews with people who have been imprisoned and tortured for distributing them. The small group I am part of has, since that talk, responded to the challenge of reading the Bible daily. In fact, independently of one another, each person has decided to read the whole Bible and is aiming to do so in a year. We would all say that the dust has been blown off this amazing book and reading it is now an active and important part of our day.
And if it is not a habit of yours, I would like to invite you join us in reading the bible every day with the assistance of notes or guides. Below are links to the aids we use. Some of us like hard copies that we can hold and others prefer Apps and audio commentaries. If you would like help with accessing these or advice on what might be right for you please call the office – we would be delighted to help.
To some the Bible is simply words. But to others of us it is the Word of God and reading it is proving to be life changing.