Most of us are familiar with the hymn Great is Your Faithfulness, but how many of us know where the quotation comes from in the Bible?
Here is the verse . .
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
In fact it is in the middle of the most miserable book of the Bible – Lamentations ch 3:22-24. I know this because I signed up to read Lamentations with a friend, accompanied by the music of lament! We want The Bible Live to be a memorable experience!
Lamentations is a masterclass in giving voice to pain and misery. The woman in the story calls out repeatedly for us to look on her suffering.
Come and listen as we read. We all bear pain and misery at some point in our lives. Hear the words of desperation. Maybe they will help you to give voice to pain and frustration in your own heart. And listen to how God’s faithfulness finds a place in the midst of such darkness.
Lamentations will take only 25 minutes to read on Friday 9th September sometime between 1 and 2pm. Don’t miss it!
Are you IN or OUT?
No, this is not about the EU Referendum, it is about whether or not you have signed up yet to take part in The Bible Live (TBL).
For those who have already signed up we have a badge for you that declares you are booked IN as a reader, time-keeper or host. We hope you will wear it all the time and use it as a talking point to encourage others to take part in our 1000 year celebration of God’s goodness to us at Warfield.
You can collect your I’m IN! badge from your TBL representatives for your congregation. If you are not clear who that is, then here is the list:
- St Michael’s 9:15 am – Dennis and Gill Wildman
- St Michael’s 11:00 am – Anne Andrews
- St Peter’s – Chris Taft, Bruce and Nanas Callander
- Eternity Bullbrook – Sally Whatley
- All Saints – Ian Wilson
- St Andrew’s am – TBC
- St Andrew’s Closer – David Cappleman
Wear it with delight. You are booked to be part of something very significant.
If reading the Bible out loud is not for you then how about coming along to listen?
Antony Billington, Head of Theology at the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC), says that “as we hear, understand and respond to God’s voice in the pages of Scripture, we rediscover what it means to be the people of God.”
In his Word for the Week this week Antony Billington writes about an Old Testament story where the prophet Ezra read from the Book of the Law of God. The people listened for hours! What they heard gave them hope for the future and motivated them to change.
All the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel… He read it aloud… And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law… The Levites… read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.
These are among the same Scriptures that we will read in September. The words contain the same power to give hope and change lives as they did over two thousand years ago.
You do not need to book to listen to God’s word being read. Just turn up any time during The Bible Live. Come as often as you like and stay as long as you like. There will be refreshments available, activities for any children and lots of fascinating information about the Bible, God’s amazing book.
And why not invite your friends and family to join you?
The word of God is alive and active. Hebrews 4:12
One great thing about the stories in the Bible is that they contain a message that is relevant to all ages and cultures. As we read about the lives of Bible characters they speak straight to our hearts and can motivate us to change.
The story of Joseph is an example. We read in Genesis that he was bullied by his jealous brothers and driven out from his family. His life was a series of significant challenges to his wellbeing and his survival. What inspires us about Joseph is that he looked to God for strength to overcome each difficulty along the way.
Today, in Swaziland, a generation of young people have their lives and their futures devastated by HIV. Over a quarter of children face a future infected by HIV and without parents to nurture them.
The Bible Society is using the story of Joseph to bring the Bible to life for these young people. They have produced a DVD to show in public places which tells the story of Joseph’s life. Hundreds of young people run from their homes to come and listen. Seeing how Joseph overcame the toughest issues by looking to God for strength inspires and motivates them to do the same.
You can read about The Bible Society’s Bible-based trauma healing programme in Swaziland here
Maybe you would enjoy reading the story of Joseph as part of our Warfield Millennium Celebration? Simply sign up to read on Wednesday 7th September around midday. Invite your friends to join you to read or to listen. The word of God is powerful!
If you are unsure about whether The Bible Live is for you then have a look at the feedback from some of the people at Christ Church, Abingdon. We borrowed the idea from their 50th anniversary celebration in 2011 when they read the bible aloud over 79 hours.
Here are some comments taken from their anniversary scrapbook.
I did not realise how powerful reading the Bible like this would be – there is an incredible power and energy.
I could have read all night . . . and listened all day!
What a wonderful experience to listen to the Bible being read out loud continuously.
Every time I have come in – between work , after tea or in the middle of the night – it has been a different experience; but always moving, exciting, enlivening (especially when the young people acted out Esther!)
I feel so full of thankfullness to God that we are free to read and listen to His word at all times.
I will never forget the poignancy of listening to 15 or so teenagers sharing the reading of Matthew, Mark and some of Luke in the middle of the night! What a privilege for them; what a privilege for us to listen!
Also, especially memorable, has been hearing several families with children as young as 4 sharing the reading.
This has been such a blessing!
I felt an overwhelming of calmness as I listened to the opening chapter of Genesis
When I came to read, at 9:00 Wednesday night, I was very apprehensive as I have never read aloud before people before. As I started to read I became relaxed and felt that I was being led through the reading.
It was an experience that I have totally enjoyed.
We read from 2 Chronicles and later from Ezekiel, both books with lists of names and measurements. I was struck by the detail and care which had been recorded, showing us (even at this time distance), the way that God was so concerned with getting things done well. The correction of relationships and building of a place in which to worship and meet with him, were obviously very important.
We have a God of order, who cares about details, for both people and places.