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.
Being useful - David Butterfield
'When we are retired and growing older, it is easy to feel that we are of little or no use compared with earlier times in our lives. However, this need not be so. In this series of reflections, we will explore how we can be a ‘Onesimus’ to God and to others by being useful to them.'
The apostle Paul: Acts 13—28 - Lyndall Bywater - 28 July - 10 August
'Paul’s life was a story of faith under pressure, and that tension created an explosive force which sent seeds far and wide. He saw many churches planted and mentored their leaders. He helped shape the early church’s understanding of what the Christian faith was and how it should be lived – and, largely thanks to him, it became a faith in its own right, rather than a sect of Judaism.'
Seven parables of the kingdom - Caroline Fletcher - 11 - 17 August
'Many of these parables deal with this tension and this is why they
remain so pertinent today. Most of us will at some time have had our faith
shaken by difficult things we have gone through. Most of us have been puzzled and disturbed, at times, to see Christians behaving in ways that seem out of keeping with their faith. Many of us will have wondered how the church can ever grow when the world seems so unreceptive to the gospel.'
Divine makeovers - Jennifer Rees Larcombe - 18 - 31 August
'God must have felt so frustrated! He is love, so he longed to lavish that love on the people he created – and to have their love in return. Yet most people found it impossible to relate to an invisible spirit they simply could not understand. That is one of the reasons why God came to us in the person of Jesus, so we could see his compassion in the eyes of a human, feel his gentleness in the touch of human hands and experience his love through a human smile.'
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)?'
1 Chronicles - Henry Wansbrough OSB - 5 - 18 August
'Most national histories are a record of success, but the Deuteronomic history is a record of human failure and divine forgiveness. These are replaced in 1 Chronicles by a fascination with the temple liturgy in all its detail.'
Romans: two at a time - Conrad Gempf - 19 August - 1 September
'Romans is the richest and fullest of Paul’s letters. His thought is not a long list of individual topics. It is a closely woven, interconnected symphony. We will be focusing on the connections.'
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.'
The presence of God - John Ryeland - 4 - 17 August
'I am involved with the ministry of healing, and a subject that seems to
come to the fore more and more is that of the presence of God. If there is
one thing that differentiates Christian healing from any other form of
therapy, it is the fact that it is centred around the person of Jesus – the
essence of the presence of God. Yet this is not just true of healing. The
presence of God is something that touches upon our worship, our prayer
lives and our very existence.'
Harvest - Paul Gravelle - 18 - 31 August
'During this coming fortnight, we will be looking at harvest references
throughout the Bible and will find that harvest is given a number of different
meanings by the biblical writers. What is the first thing that comes to
mind now as you think of harvest? Is it just the physical human activity of
gathering in the crops? I wonder if that will have changed by the time we
have finished these reflections together.'