Sunday 25th Oct
We keep the Last Sunday in Trinity as Bible Sunday, giving thanks for the record we have in Holy Scripture. In her reflection, Jan speaks about discovering more about the Bible in our Lent and Advent groups and how that helped our understanding of the story of our faith.
I first became fascinated by the Bible when I studied for A-levels and then carried on in college as part of my theology degree. It has never lost that power to hold my attention. Throughout my ministry, I have continued to research and study the passages set for our readings, as background to my preaching.
I never became fluent in the languages of the Bible: I didn’t have the opportunity to study Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, and only did a little Greek, for New Testament studies. A true scholar would always read a text in its original language! So I have to make do with commentaries written by those who do.
The second essential is to learn something about the original context of a passage, as far as that can be discovered. That gives a sense of the first meanings, which set us on the path to our own understanding.
Even though all the writings date from so long ago we still find something in them for us today, in our very different lives and expectations. But our hopes and fears are not so different from those Jews and Christians who were the writers and readers of the books of the Bible. We still seek God and his will for us. We still yearn to worship and serve him. We still look to the pages of Scripture for the light to guide us.
Sermons are supposed to help us all see what the message is for today. You who listen to sermons have your own view as to how successful the preachers you have heard are in that. I would be glad if my sermons gave you only one thing to think about. God will do the rest!