November 18,2007 33rd Sunday of Year C

Choose a Scripture passage which appeals to you.
This week (Nov.18-25) is called ‘Bible Week’.
The Bible is different from other books because it contains a living message from God. God Himself talks to us through the Bible and what a waste for us if we do not read and listen. "The word of God is alive and active and has the ability to pierce our hearts - even more than a sharp sword" (Hebrews 4)
In reading the Bible here are some points;
(1) Believe in the Bible's power and ask Jesus to enlighten us with the deep meaning for today's life - as he did for the disciples on the way to Emmaus (luke 24) eg. "Jesus! please explain the Bible to my heart",
(2) Both the Old Testament and the New have an ancient background but the basic message is modern pertinent to my life today. It is alive!
(3) After a short prayer asking for light, take a bible passage or scene and read it SLOWLY. (I repeat that key word: "Slowly")
The aim is to pray the Bible. To study the Bible is very good indeed, but is not our aim here. So slow, prayerful reading is important - very important. As we read slowly there will come echoes in your heart. Be sensitive to them, this is the way God speaks to us personally. These echoes will usually be now. The Bible (and God of course) is not in two different worlds.
(4) We will meet passages that give us comfort, but also passage that will challenge and perhaps disturb us. Both are valuable - one for encouragement, one for growth to maturity.
(5) Sometimes we will meet passages that are difficult to understand. Jump over those and taste the understandable - the aim is prayer now. We can come back later to the difficult passages - in study.
My favorite passages: "Come to me you who are tired...." (Matthew 11:28)
"I call you by name. You are precious... Gear not. I am with you." (Isaiah 43:1.)

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