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We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia: Northern Churchman

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia? The Northern Churchman There is a familiar feel to this time of year. The Christmas advertising on television, the darker evenings, the Carol Services – and the inevitable scoffers who call the Christmas story a myth. Not ‘Once in Royal...

Mark Pickles: The Story of Two Trampolines

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Story of the Two Trampolines:  A passage that is frequently referred to during times of great revival is Isaiah 64:1-3:  “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your...

Ten Thousand Bibles for London’s Children

TBS Auxiliary Meets Ten Thousand Bibles For London’s Children The Greater London Auxiliary of the Trinitarian Bible Society was delighted to report at its Annual Meeting held on 15 November that over 10,000 Bibles have been distributed to London schools since the...

Good News for Egypt’s Christians

Barnabas Fund Reports Good News for Egypt’s Christians The government of Egypt licensed 125 churches and church-affiliated buildings on 14 November. It is the 24th batch of approvals made since the government committee overseeing the licensing process started work in...

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw In the aftermath of Desmond Tutu’s daughter being refused permission to preside at a funeral in a Church of England parish, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told The Guardian that the “C of E must move swiftly to welcome lesbian...

Collins: Who’s Your Righteousness?

Who’s Your Righteousness? By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Who’s your righteousness? "The Lord our Righteousness" was the sermon preached March 20, 1757 at St. Mary's Church in Oxford. It offended nearly everyone that day and William Romaine was invited to never preach...

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963

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Editorial: Joy to the World Cup

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Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership By Chris Sugden Andrew Symes is to stand down as Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream on January 1, 2023, after nearly ten years in post. Rev Symes, 56, who had earlier served with Crosslinks in South...

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension By George Conger The former Bishop of Ramsbury has been suspended for life from the ordained ministry after he admitted to having sexually abused two women. The Daily Mail reported the Rt Rev. Peter Hullah had been the subject of...

Pilgrim’s Process: Pilgrim’s Need the Light of God’s Word, Sanlon

Pilgrim’s Process by Peter Sanlon

Pilgrim’s Need the Light of God’s Word

As pilgrims travelling through a dark world, we need the light of God’s Word (Ps.119:105). Despite knowing this we often struggle to regularly read the Bible. Many of God’s people feel guilty about this and know there are parts of scripture they are unfamiliar with.

One of the most frequent expressions of frustration I hear from those who want to read the Bible more, but struggle, is that they find it difficult to keep going with dated Bible reading notes. Many find such notes helpful – but even those who are fans of them, can find it depressing to fall behind – and difficult to get back on track.

My suggestion to people struggling to read the Bible is to try a different method. Instead of having a plan of how many verses or chapters you are going to read each day (a plan that can easily be deviated from) – try to approach the Bible like a novel. Not in the sense that you forget that it is God’s Word written – but in the sense that you just pick up the book and read.

Think about how it is when you are gripped by the plot of a thrilling novel. You don’t schedule yourself half a chapter to read each day, and berate yourself when you cannot manage it. No – you devour a chapter and when it ends think, ‘I could read a bit further. I want to see what happens next.’ With a novel we love we don’t merely schedule time daily to read at home – we keep it in the car for when we are waiting by school gates, we read it on the bus or while waiting for a friend in the coffee shop. Altering our mindset to view the Bible more like a novel we are hungry to read through, can lead to rewarding outcomes. 

There are available ‘Readers Bibles’ from publishers that omit chapter numbers and verse numbers – making the Bible feel more like a book to be read. These are often printed on paper more like a novel. With such a Bible last week I read through 1 & 2 Kings. I had no idea over the couple of hours (with a few coffee breaks) where I was in terms of chapters – I was just gripped by the plot, characters and God’s amazing covenantal way of dealing with his people. I missed other things because I wanted to read.

God’s Word is not a chore. If reading it has become such to you, why not try reading it like you would any book you enjoy? It will feel like more than a human book. 

Rev. Dr. Peter Sanlon is rector of Emmanuel Anglican Church, Tunbridge Wells: www.emmanuelanglican.uk

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