Coming up in our Bible reading notes
Our Bible reading notes cover a variety of themes written by a number of different contributors. Here is a preview of what is to come in our notes over the coming weeks.
While you can dip in and out of the readings in Bible Reflections for Older people, you may wish to read one set of reflections per month.
Everybody needs a rock - Anne Townsend
'It’s often said that you need to be young and fit to survive ageing. Managing life’s smallest tasks becomes painfully tricky with arthritis; travelling becomes a major undertaking when vision is reduced, and storytelling involves mental gymnastics if the correct words refuse to present themselves. Yet, Jesus tells us, ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:10).'
James: a practical guide - Sara Batts - 7-13 July
'I think we can learn much from James’ reminder of
the practical consequences of deciding to follow Jesus. James may not
explicitly give a lesson in God’s plan of salvation but where he asks us to
act in a certain way, it is because that mirrors the character of God. So we
do get to understand more about God, alongside an assessment of our
own way of life.'
The joy of spiritual disciplines - Fiona Barnard - 14 - 27 July
'How do we learn the love language of God? Spiritual disciplines are
the way God enables us to hear him and speak his language. Through
them, he whispers his heart’s desires and shapes us. We learn how to
belong to his family.'
Shalom: God’s manifesto - Andrew Francis - 1 - 7 July
'As a writer, I keep rediscovering how many leading theologians, with different perspectives and trajectories, have written about shalom as part of their wider thesis for mission and discipleship. Some are named within our reflections, but you may well know others too. Shalom is so vital to our ‘life in God’ that it simply cannot be ignored, wherever we come from – spiritually and theologically.'
Luke 19:1 - 22:2 - Steve Walton - 8 - 28 July
'Luke’s story is drawing towards its climax in Jerusalem. Jesus has been on the road to the city for a long while (since 9:51) and he finally approaches and enters Jerusalem. Here, the challenges he faces will intensify in response to his greater clarity over who he is as Israel’s king and Lord. He will enter and repossess the temple, both negatively, by throwing out the traders, and positively, by teaching there regularly.'
Like a tree, planted… - Neil Le Tissier - 29 July - 4 August
'It seems to me that nothing livens up the written word, and helps broaden insight and understanding, quite like a well-chosen metaphor. But what is metaphor? And does it have any rightful place in communicating the nature of God, faith and biblical truth? After all, what’s wrong with good old-fashioned plain speaking (and writing)? Or is there a danger that without it we ‘be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving’ (Isaiah 6:9)?'
Jeremiah- Barbara Mosse - 30 June - 13 July
'Time and again Jeremiah calls on the people, urging them to repent
and turn away from their evil ways. But their wrongdoing is deep-set and
not to be rooted out that easily. As the oracles continue, the sounds of
lament become increasingly prevalent – for the people, from the Lord and
from Jeremiah himself.'
My favourite prayers - Lakshmi Jeffreys - 14 - 20 July
'The selection includes liturgical prayers, some of which have been
used for centuries in one form or another. It can be a huge relief to use
words honed by sages, to express what I think and feel, whether or not
I am alongside others as I do so. In response, my own thoughts, words and
actions will follow. May it be so as you speak to and listen to God.'
Women in the New Testament - Penelope Wilcock - 21 July - 3 August
'The vision is restored of a God of love containing and originating
the beauty and variety of both male and female, with a corresponding
imperative to honour and respect all humanity. Yet the challenge this
presents to societal norms is to be undertaken quietly, gently, gracefully
and with propriety, as befits the Christian way. In these studies of women
in the New Testament, we see something of that in action.'