In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. 2Timothy 4:1-2
The OFSTED inspector was impressed. He had been in an RE lesson which was looking at the Q’uran. The teacher was well prepared and knew what she was about. A Q’uran stand was ready and before she even took the lid off the box the Q’uran was in, she put on clean white gloves so that her unclean hands did not touch the holy book. We do not revere the Bible in this way, although we could learn about valuing what we claim is the Word of God. The Bible is not tainted by human touch and we don’t have to treat it as a holy object. It is given to be used, to inspire, to guide, to correct – and to encourage! As a community of God’s people, what does it mean to be biblical and handle the Bible correctly? First of all, it is not about finding rules and regulations to follow. If we do we will into the trap the Galatians fell into and put ourselves under law. It is about being Christ centred both individually and as a community, as well as seeking to apply the Bible to our living as we follow Jesus Christ. In doing this we need the community of God’s people around us to help us understand, interpet and to provide encouragement and support as we live as Christians every day.