Advent 4: Leaping for Joy (even when it seems crazy!)

Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, Langley

Advent 4 – Year C

Micah 5:2-5a
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-55

When was the last time your heart leapt for joy? I know this seems like a bonkers question right now.

What gets you out of bed in the morning, floats your boat, makes your heart leap for joy? This might be a difficult question to answer especially if you are in a difficult situation currently.

If we look at the situations of Mary and Elizabeth it is difficult to see what there was to leap about. Mary is 14-ish and pregnant. Elizabeth is well – old and pregnant. Socially and medically this is a nightmare.

The men of the story are absent: Zechariah is mute as we are told a few verses earlier for his disbelief and doubt. Joseph might be the only one considering doing some leaping as he considers whether to jump ship (or not) on Mary.

There are also the babies and at least one of them, John, is leaping in the womb. It was at the voice of Mary’s greeting and being in the presence of Jesus that made unborn baby John leap.

Mary has gone in haste to see Elizabeth after Gabriel has appeared to her with some shocking news. I think that haste is a good word; it means ‘excessive speed, urgency of movement or action; hurry’. We often say ‘don’t be hasty’ when cautioning others (not usually ourselves) about making decisions too rashly.

Mary has good reason to go in haste to see her cousin Elizabeth. She was probably terrified, anxious, unsure. When she arrives at her cousins’ home and goes into the house, Mary receives the most wonderful response to her greeting. Elizabeth’s child (John the Baptist) leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth is overwhelmed in that moment with joy and not fear.

She seems to understand what is happening and her response is one of complete humility. Why her? Who is Elizabeth that the mother of my Lord comes to me?

Both women have now been made aware of the other’s baby from heaven. Mary from Gabriel and Elizabeth from the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth then goes on to bless Mary twice; once for the baby, the fruit of her womb and again for believing that there would be fulfilment of what was spoken by God.

What an example of faith this is to the rest of us as Elizabeth was in a less than ideal situation. This encounter shows us that becoming aware of the presence of God seems to make people leap for joy. Unborn babies, teenage girls and old women. As the Christmas story unfolds other people will leap too.

How aware of God’s presence are we?

My heart can leap for joy at a hundred different things – but not always in church or in prayer or at the communion rail. So I have to ask myself if I have forgotten to expect God to be present?

What would it look like for you to leap for joy at the presence of God? Is it paying attention in the more ordinary and less exciting parts of life?

Maybe it is looking to see Jesus in each other rather than disappointment or criticism?

Maybe it is raising our expectations of God to act in our situations.

Micah, in his prophecy, is told by the Lord to say to Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who was one of the smallest clans of Judah, that from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel. Bethlehem, the House of Bread, was small and insignificant. Yet great things were coming from it. Not for hundreds of years though as Israel had longer to wait and wonder.

In Mary’s response, this waiting and wondering comes to a head as she responds to the double blessing given by Elizabeth as she begins to realise God’s presence and faithfulness to her.

In her great song of praise which follows, Mary expresses her joy at the news she has had and all that it will mean for Israel.

The song, often referred to as the Magnificat, dwells on the great faithfulness of God to his people; his mercy and favour to those who, like her, are humble and meek.

Sometimes we need some reminding that God looks on us with favour – even when circumstances don’t look like it or we don’t feel it. Like Elizabeth and Mary we need humility and faith that God will act. We also need to make space in our lives for God for this to happen.

At Christmas we remember His presence with us and there is no greater reason to leap than that.

Advent 1: Hope, Relief and Waiting

Michelanglo’s The Last Judgment (1536-41)

Advent 1 – Year C

Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm 25:1-9
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36

Happy New Year!

No – I mean it! Today is New Year’s Day on the church calendar. Forget about January 1st – November 28th is where it is!

In this season of Advent, we remember again the coming of Jesus in human form as we repeat stories of that first Christmas. We also look ahead to His coming the second time; that time known to God but not us. We wait in hope and preparation for God’s arrival to make sure we recognize him when he comes. In preparation for that we can pray that this Advent is a season of hope, relief and watching.

Hope. Who doesn’t need a little bit of hope today? Hope is like a light shining in a dark place. The Bible has a lot to say about hope:

At this point in his life, Jeremiah has been put into jail by his own King for being right. The enemies of Jerusalem are attacking the city, as Jeremiah said they would. Jerusalem is still standing but it will soon fall into the hands of Babylon.
Sitting in prison, Jeremiah is suddenly filled with hope. Jeremiah knows that restoration will come after the exile – this is what he is talking about when he says, ‘the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.’

If the people wait, watch, endure and try to see the hand of God at work, they will be preparing themselves and the people for the time when ‘Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will live in safety.’ This would have been a mystery to the people listening! This is hundreds of years before Jesus arrived. This is still a mystery to people today; people in our families and friend groups who are not interested or do not know about what it is to be saved.

Jeremiah gives us an incredible example of human faithfulness that will not renounce God, come what may. Jeremiah brings good news too: whatever happens, God is God and God is for us. Even Jeremiah, who was the darkest of the prophets, has moments when he can see beyond the immediate destruction of his people to a time when they will again know that God has not abandoned them. He (Jesus) will execute justice and righteousness.

Secondly – Relief.

Just think for a moment about the last time you felt relief from a situation. That overwhelming sense of ‘this is over!’ or ‘well that wasn’t so bad’ or ‘thank God that passed me by’ Advent brings relief – the weary world rejoices!

Paul has been worried about the Thessalonians to whom he is writing. Paul got so worked up about it that he sent Timothy to visit them and he has come back with good news. The letter to the Thessalonians is an expression of Paul’s relief and joy for these new Christians. ‘How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you?’ (verse 1 asks)

Paul’s prayer is that they will use their time to prepare for their final meeting with God. There is no time to waste, every minute is vital according to Paul. He wants the Thessalonians to grow and abound in love for each other, to have their hearts strengthened in holiness so to be blameless before God at the coming of Jesus.

This is a big part of the Advent journey; are we ready for the great return? If we are ready then we will know relief when he comes back. However , we should not be too comfortable while people around us do not know the Good News.

There is a verse in this reading that really stuck out to me – Paul wants to see the Thessalonians face to face and ‘restore whatever is lacking in your faith.’ What is lacking in your faith this Advent season?

Thirdly and finally – Keep watch. We need to prepare for Jesus’ return. This means taking the promises of God seriously. Where are our priorities towards God right now? Is he 2nd place behind our distractions and self-interests?

Luke tells of the signs that are coming in the sun, moon, in the stars and on earth. There will be distress among the nations and confusion in the seas and the waves. This passage is different from the rest of Luke. Luke tells the wonderful stories of the shepherds and sheep, the stable and the manger; it is Luke who tells the story of Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah.

Luke now gives us this rather frightening story of the Son of Man coming in on a cloud with power and great glory. The seasons are going to change and we need to be ready to change with them. Not only that, we need to watch for the signs of the coming of Jesus. This is not an easy task! We need to pay attention to the world around us, pay attention to what God might be saying to us.

The fig tree is the key to all three of today’s readings. Just as we know how to watch for the signs that mark the changing of the seasons, so we have to train to be people who can recognize the signs of the coming redemption.

Jeremiah and Luke talk about seeing the signs in times of turmoil and Paul is speaking into a situation of growth and joy while trying to keep a note of urgency. We too need to wait with intelligence, noting the signs, paying attention in situations of joy and relief and in turmoil too.

In Robyn Wrigley-Carr’s Advent book for this year, Music of Eternity, we are reminded that God is at work and draws us into His coming action. God is the prime mover, the initiator who is always present on the scene before we arrive. We need not worry or work under our own steam. By spending time with God, he will reveal what He is doing in our lives and the wider world. It is then that we can begin to recognize him.

In Advent, we are waiting for God’s arrival and we need to recognize him when he comes. We wait in hope, we wait for relief and we wait and watch for God – both now and in the not yet.

Happy New Year!

Christ the King: Who Was and Is and Is To Come

Christ the King

Daniel 7:9-10,13-14
Psalm 93
Revelation 1:4-8
John 18:33-37

God the Father,
help us to hear the call of Christ the King
and to follow in his service,
whose kingdom has no end;
for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, one glory.

Today is the final Sunday of the church year; this is New Year’s Eve! As most people do on New Year’s Eve, we can look to the future. Christ the King Sunday offers two ways; the first is pointing to the end of time when the kingdom of Jesus will be established in all its fullness to the ends of the earth. The second dimension leads us into the immediate season of Advent, the beautiful season of expectation and preparation as we look ahead to celebrating the birth of Jesus. In both dimensions we are reminded that Jesus, Christ in King.

Christ the King is a recent addition to the church calendar – and a Roman Catholic one at that! Pope Pius XI instituted it in 1925 – which is like 5 minutes ago in church time. He did this in response to issues he was facing in the church. There was growing secularism after World War 1. The Church was facing a huge crisis of faith and many people left the Church (both Catholic & Protestant) in Europe in the wake of the war. The men had left for war and they didn’t come back; and the women left the church and God. This context led the Pope to establish Christ the King Sunday as a reminder of Jesus’ power and authority above all else. Pope Pius wrote:

‘If to Christ Jesus our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to His dominion; if this power embraces all men, [paraphrasing now] He must reign in our minds, He must reign in our wills, He must reign in our hearts, He must reign in our bodies and in our members as instruments of justice unto God.’

This Sunday was instituted as a reminder about who is really in charge. It is good to remind ourselves that Jesus is King above all kings; whatever season we are in. I know that for many people 2021 has been, quite frankly awful. Others it has been fair to middling to better than 2020. Wherever you are at, God bless you. The King knows what is going on, is with you and loves you.

Christ the King Sunday reminds us that we live in the in-between. We are between the first Advent (The birth of Jesus) and the second (his return). The new born King has come and yet we wait for His return as the grown-up King. Most of us, I suspect, prefer certainty and security to uncertainty and chaos. We like to know where our next meal is coming from, when the next train arrives, and that there is money in the bank.

We might even prefer more certainty of Jesus or hold a view of Him that is containable, manageable and fits with our view of the world. The readings this morning counter any comfortable view we might want to hold. Jesus before Pilate just before the Crucifixion and John’s vision of the return of Jesus at the second coming.

Revelation is the start of John’s visions while he was an old man exiled on the Greek island of Patmos. John knew Jesus; he was the beloved disciple, he had spent 3 years with him, following him around, listening and learning from him. John was there when Jesus was crucified, a young man probably still a teenager!

Now John is an old man, having lived a life telling people the Good News that he heard and saw when he was with Jesus. In this final event of his life, John is given the most extraordinary visions of what happens when Christ comes again. It is dramatic, it is frightening and quite frankly hard to understand. John starts with God and Jesus as he knows the grace and peace he extends to others, he knows the faithful witness of Jesus. John knows the love and freedom that comes from the forgiveness of sins. He knows what Jesus did while he was on earth for he was there.

John received a glimpse of Jesus’ coming again; the arrival on the clouds and every eye will see him. In the first coming, as a baby in the manger, it might seem easy to overlook but there will be no mistaking this King’s return.

John’s Gospel presents us with another vision of Christ the King; maybe one that we are no more comfortable with but maybe more familiar. John gives us a picture of the human Jesus stood before Pilate; tired, beaten, exhausted. Again, not a great picture of a King!

Pilate has been put into a difficult position, he is puzzled over the charges brought against Jesus but has to decide whether Jesus should be sentenced to death or not. As Pilate is trying to work this out he asks Jesus point-blank, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus gives a rather vague answer, ‘My kingdom is not from this world’.

Pilate takes this as Jesus’ admission to being a king. Pilate is probably unsure about what kind of king Jesus is meant to be and likely doesn’t care. Pilates concern is more about whether Jesus is challenging his power or not. Is this Jesus supposed to be a king in a military-style way to come in and wipe out the enemies (those being the Romans) of the Jewish people?

We know the rest of the story: this King that goes on to be crucified. Again, this is not a great or comfortable view of a King!

Both the readings this morning give us two different perspectives on Jesus and his kingship. I wonder if there is one you relate to more deeply than the other? We have the huge vision of John and the glorious return of the King. We also have a very human Jesus standing before Pilate on his way to his death. In between this, we are to prepare to again celebrate and remember the first Advent, Jesus in the manger.

It is important to our faith to understand how we see Jesus. Where do we place him? Is he the tiny baby that comes out only at Christmas for some warm and fuzzy memories? Is the cosmic Jesus a little too different, too distant? What about Jesus the man? The human ‘king’ standing before Pilate.

Christ the King Sunday gives us the opportunity to adjust our eyesight so that we can see Jesus in all his fullness. If we have diminished Him in any way we can ask for Him to expand into our lives, our relationships and our understanding of who He is. We need Him! We need Him in this church badly!

We share in his Kingship in the practical matters of feeding the hungry and clothing the poor, being present with those in need. We also share in the hope of the King that is to come in all his fullness and glory; both the baby in the manger and the Son of Man who will return. The Son of Man who will descend on the clouds; who loves us and freed us from our sins and made us to be a kingdom.

Until then we have to wait and watch. Take the time to be prepared. As we stand on the cusp on another church year – which promises to be eventful – let’s look again at Christ our King.

3rd Sunday Before Advent: Following

The Calling of the Apostles Simon and Andrew (Duccio, 1308-1311)

3rd Sunday before Advent

Jonah 3:1-5,10
Psalm 62:6-14
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 1:14-20

It might be hard to believe, but today is the 3rd Sunday before Advent! The countdown is on people. We are in a short season of Remembrance and on the cusp of the Kingdom season; when we turn towards the first coming of Jesus. The readings for these next three Sundays call us to take a look at the bigger picture of what it is to follow Jesus.

The readings from Jonah and Mark say something about following. Follow can be a rather loaded word, almost negative in some instances. We can think in terms of being a follower (weakness, unable to think for yourself) or being followed (suspicious, tracked). On social media, having followers is a very good thing as is being followed. Do these followers always know who and what they are following? It can be dangerous!

How do we follow? We have examples in the reading of a reluctant/negative follower in Jonah and very eager followers in the first disciples. Although it is likely that neither Jonah nor the disciples knew exactly what it was they were being asked to follow!

In the few short pages of Jonah, we meet a man who does not want to follow. So much so that he sails away in the opposite direction. God had called the prophet Jonah to preach to Israel’s cruellest of enemies and he initially refused. As a prophet of God, this was exactly what Jonah was called to do.

We meet with Jonah back on dry land after his ‘come to Jesus moment’ when he was spat out of the fish onto the beach. It is now time for Jonah to do what has been asked of him. This was to get up, be obedient and walk across the city of Nineveh and warn of God’s judgement. Jonah would rather see the Ninevites get what they deserved. God was supposed to wipe them out and judge them by Jonah’s standards.

But God doesn’t wipe them out, much to Jonah’s annoyance! The people of Nineveh get the message, repent, turn to God and are spared. Instead of being happy about saving the lives of thousands of people, Jonah remains grumpy and gets a poignant lesson in humility.

The story of Jonah shows us that when God calls us to follow him, He will get his way!

In Mark’s Gospel we see Jesus walking beside the Sea of Galilee calling people to repent and believe in the good news. This time it is not a prophet calling people, it is God himself. Jesus is also looking to call people to share the good news with him.

To understand the significance of what Simon, Andrew, James and John did that day, we need to understand their context. It is thought that James and John were set to inherit the family business, Zebedee & Sons Fishing Inc. It may have been that Simon and Andrew worked for Zebedee as well. This could have been a family business that had been handed down for generations.

To give up fishing meant giving up a lucrative family business, where you always have something to eat and something to sell. Not to mention the shame they would have brought on their family by leaving Zebedee literally holding the net.

Why? One day, a man is passing by on the shores of Galilee and declares that he wants them to stop their fishing for fish and instead go with him to tell people about God’s kingdom. This is very different from the telling that Jonah was doing. Jonah wanted people to be punished for their wrongdoing. Jesus is offering a chance to change and hear the good news. The reaction was that both sets of brothers ‘immediately’ left their nets and dear old Dad and followed him.

The question that gets me though: is what was so attractive about Jesus that made these four, ordinary fishermen with secure futures leave their nets and boats to follow him? I fear I am going to be plagued by this until I meet Jesus face to face.

Second question: why don’t we have that same desire?

We see Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John change and grow in the Gospel stories as they follow and learn from Jesus. It took time and energy, dedication, commitment and loyalty with mistakes made along the way. This is what following Jesus is about. Going the distance, learning, living and loving along the way.

Are we willing to follow like the disciples or like Jonah?

Jesus is in the business of changing people’s lives. That is what he came to do. On that day Jesus really changed the lives of those four ordinary fishermen when he invited them to a specially favoured place beside him. That invitation is open to us today.

Simon, Andrew, James and John throw in their lot with Jesus, knowing little about the consequences it will have. We may not see where the road will take us, but we can know who we are following. We may not know what will be asked of us, but we can trust the one who asks.

I am going to end with the Psalm 62:6-14 which is set for today:

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my deliverance and my honour;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.

Those of low estate are but a breath,
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.

Put no confidence in extortion,
and set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
For you repay to all
according to their work.

Bible Sunday


Isaiah 55:1-11
Psalm 19:7-14
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
John 5:36b-47

I have asked you to bring your own Bibles to church this morning for a few reasons. Sorry to those of you that didn’t get that message. I remember a Lutheran pastor from my childhood who would ask to see people’s bibles when he came to visit. He wanted to see the condition it was in; was it dusty? Had the spine been broken? Was it well used?

I want to think about the Bible in your hands for a moment (or one that is at home!):
Where did you get it?
Who gave it to you?
How much of it have you read?
If all the Bibles disappeared from the face of the earth tomorrow – how much of it do you know?

I would be so brave as to say that what you have in your hands right now is the most valuable thing you own! At the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953, she was presented with a Bible from the Archbishop of Canterbury with these words:
Our gracious Queen:
to keep your Majesty ever mindful of the law and the Gospel of God as the Rule for the whole life and government of Christian Princes, we present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords

I believe this is true and I hope you do as well. I believe this to be true even though I don’t understand all of it. I have neglected it, I have avoided it and I get frustrated by it. Yet I believe it because I deeply love it, want to know and understand more of it. If you are in any way daunted by the Bible here is a secret: don’t worry about what you don’t know. Worry about what you do know and understand.
Am I living to the standards that are set out here.
Am I becoming more Christ-like?
Is there any actual evidence of what I know about this book to my family, my friends, or the wider world?

Today as we celebrate Bible Sunday, each reading has something to teach us about how we can take the Bible more seriously for ourselves in three ways.

Firstly: The Bible is God’s means of our development and growth as Christians (Timothy 3.16)

To be honest, many of us struggle to see the usefulness of much of the Bible. We get comfortable with what we know or what we think we know. That is just fine! Thank you very much! We might try to make excuses: the Bible is too hard, I don’t understand, I don’t need to understand, it’s outdated, old, irrelevant to the world now, it’s too violent, etc.

I love shopping at IKEA. When I go there I always come out with more stuff than I need! But what often amazes me is how I always seem to find a gadget or utensil that I am not sure how I have lived without until now. A garlic press, mini chopping boards, multi-sided cheese graters, spatulas of different sizes. It never occurred to me that I needed these things. Yet now that I have found them I cannot live or cook without them.

Perhaps it is because I have a perfectly good grater or knife that has done the job well enough for long enough. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t new ways of doing old things!

Growing and developing in our faith is a whole of life activity so when we leave this building. We need this book to help us get on with it. How can we possibly become more Christ-like (this is not the same thing as being a good person!) if we have not uncovered who Jesus is in the pages of the Bible?
We have been called to abundant life, life in the fullest sense. This doesn’t just happen! We need to grow and develop which takes time, it takes a lifetime! We need the teaching, the reproof, correction and training that the Bible offers us.

Secondly, Scripture brings us intimacy with God (Isaiah 55)

Now as a mainly English congregation, experience has taught me that intimacy is not a comfortable word for many people! And intimacy with God can really be a stretch for some! However, God has already searched you and knows you; He is intimately acquainted with all your ways! (Psalm 139).
Isaiah 55 offers us an invitation to draw close to God: verse 1: everyone who thirsts, come to the waters. Thirst is a life-threatening need and here we have an invitation to an abundant supply! ‘You that have no money; come, buy and eat.’

None of us can buy what God is offering to us – we are unable and helpless to. Come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Logically you can’t buy anything without money. Someone has already paid the price. The water was free. Wine and milk are meant to symbolise luxury. The freely given luxury of God’s love and provision.

This loving God has a question for us: ‘why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy?’ Why do we waste our time on things that don’t matter?! We needlessly worry, get anxious, freaked out, spin our wheels over all sorts of things! It is so exhausting to live this way. People go searching for answers or explanations in all sorts of places yet so often we go last to the place where we should go first…God!

‘Listen so you may live!’ says God. Seek the Lord while he may be found! It is the Bible that reveals his thoughts and ways, sets his targets, voices his promises and is powerful to achieve what it says.

It is hard work though! It is really frustrating that ‘my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.’ There is a plan and purpose for each of us (v 10-11); a good work for us to do. If we want to know what that is then we need to get close to God. We need to get intimately acquainted with His word.

Thirdly: The Bible keeps us on God’s path (4.3-4)
Have you ever had a driving experience in thick fog? Those fogs that descend so quickly that all you can do is crawl along the motorway with the fog lights on and make slow progress. It can feel claustrophobic, like you are lost, and you can’t just stop and wait it out. You have to keep going.

The lines marking the lanes suddenly became a lifeline. They showed you each metre of the road one at a time, helping to navigate the bends, avoid collisions, and eventually to getting to your destination.

Many people unfortunately believe the Bible to be a rather long and boring set of rules to take the fun out of life. Again, untrue! We need rules, guidelines to keep life between the lines like the markings on a motorway. Imagine trying to watch a footie match that had no rules, or bake a cake without a recipe, or drive a car without road markings.

It would all end in disaster as we would each individually have to make up the way to do these things. Now we might be tempted to think that we know best. But likely the person next to us thinks that way too. This is what Paul is talking about in verse 3: ‘the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine (teaching or belief), but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires.’

Paul is spending so much energy commending the importance of scripture to Timothy because he realises that a time is coming for the church when it will be very difficult for the church to stay faithful to God’s path. He predicts a time when instead of seeking the truth, Christians will let their own desires be the filter for what they hear, distracted by false teaching. Things like ‘just be a good person’; ‘it’s all the same God we believe in anyway’; ‘we all basically get there in the end’; ‘The Bible, church, Christianity, etc is fine for you but not for me.’
Those are not God’s word. Watch out for itchy ears!

In John’s Gospel, Jesus is taking on some Jewish people who have itchy ears. They know their scriptures and they are trying to find eternal life in them. Jesus is saying ‘no, no, no – I am the way to eternal life.’ The Jews are missing this because they don’t believe that God has sent Jesus. They won’t go to him to have life. It’s all there in the Jewish scriptures, right back to Moses and yet they refused to believe it. Itchy ears can make you deaf.

What do we need to do to grow & develop as Christians, have a deeper intimacy with God and stay on his path:

First thing – pray! Pray to want to grow and develop in your faith. Pray for a closer relationship with God. Pray for purpose and guidance. No one is going to force you. Not even God. Maybe you have to pray to want to want to grow & develop, deepen your relationship and stay on the path.

Secondly, don’t take it for granted. Today access to the Bible is only a click away on a smartphone. I suspect many of our homes have multiple copies of the Bible and in multiple translations. In the western world we have easy-to-read, easy-to-access versions of the Bible at our fingertips. But because it is so easily available, it is possible that we undervalue it. Paul reminds Timothy of his rich and privileged heritage, because he wants to leave a legacy in the life of Timothy and the life of the church that will carry on into the future. Don’t take it for granted!
Really what if all the Bibles disappeared overnight? How much would we still know?

Thirdly, Do it! Does the Bible feel like a dry and dusty book to you or does it captivate you like a long-awaited love letter? To rekindle a heart habit of reading and relishing the Bible, maybe you can take some time this week to revisit parts that in the past have been especially meaningful to you.

For many people there are Psalms that have a special significance, or perhaps the gospel accounts of Jesus. If regular Bible reading has become difficult, why not revisit these parts of the Bible and as you read them, pray that God would give you a fresh passion for his word?

In this book we have the most valuable thing that this world affords! It is God’s way of communicating to the world that he created and so loves. We as his followers need to know what is in her so we can share that message with the people that so badly need it. We need to grow and develop as Christians, deepen in our intimacy, our relationships with God and stay on his path, stay close to him. We do this through prayer, by not taking this book for granted and by doing it!