I’ve spent the last couple of days thinking about some short pieces that I’m writing for another website. This means I’ve had no spare mental energy for blogging. To make up for that, I though I would (somewhat cheekily) post one of the articles I’ve written and get your comments on it. So here goes…
The Bible is not a book of religious ideas or rules and regulations (though it does have some of those). Quite simply, it is a story; a love story told by God himself. In the Bible we read how God reaches out to fallen humanity calling men and women back to himself to share in the peace, shalom, which is part of his own nature. It tells how, ultimately, God steps into the world in human form to reveal himself and to die on the cross to open a way for humanity to be reconciled to him and then rises again in triumph defeating death and ushering in God’s reign over creation.
But though the Bible gives us the authentic record of the story God’s relationship to his creation: that story isn’t finished. As we read the record of what God has done, we find ourselves being drawn into the story as participants. The experiences of the Bible characters as they grow to understand how God loves and care for them become our experiences and the disciples responsibility to take this story to the ends of the earth becomes our responsibility. Careful readers of the Bible are drawn together and slowly, and all too imperfectly, are built into communities which demonstrate the peace and justice of God to the wider world.
So the Bible has a dual role; it informs us about God and how he cares for and deals with his creation, but it also has the capacity to draw people to God who transforms them and their communities bringing his reign and his peace to the world through them. Either one of these would make it an extraordinary book, but the fact that the Bible gives us both makes it of inestimable value to all people on the planet – whether they realise it or not.