(White diamonds and blue sapphires laid out in the backs of seats before the service)
Guard the good treasure entrusted to you. — 2 Tim 1:14
There are so many things which each of really treasure in the bible, things which are really valuable to us; and there’s always exciting new treasures to discover.
Today is Bible Sunday. First off, I’d like you to think of something in the bible which comforts or inspires you? I’d like you to write that on your diamond in the next few minutes. We’ll share these at the peace.
Just like the bible isn’t just one book, but loads of books in one book, so the bible is not just one treasure, but it is like a treasure chest.
(Anecdote about my ‘treasure’ chest — which my and my sister kept our videos in as children)
So, let’s have a look in my treasure chest. Who wants to help me?
(Green emeralds — bible shared among the community; red rubies — how did you inherit or how were you introduced to the bible?)
I’ve lost my bibles among all these other things. Can you help me pick them out?
But which of these are bibles?
We can see lots of books here. (Read the names.) Which one is the bible? (Get answers). Perhaps this Greek New Testament, along with the Hebrew Scriptures, has the best claim to be the Real Bible — because they are the original written form — but for many of us that’s just no use. Rather, though none of these are the one and only bible, they all are the bible. They each have something different to bring; they each have a different perspective; and each of us will have one which is most helpful. So if you’re not a lots-of-words sort of person, maybe the comic bible is for you!
But tell you what. We’ve also got a few bibles here which aren’t books.
I know…! (Get them out.)
Phone — audio. BluRay — films. Tablet — online videos, texts & audio. Drama GNB — putting on short plays.
All of these are the bible in some sense — they are ways in which anyone can access the story of G*d and humanity, told through lots of little stories. The Bible is written, spoken or drawn word of G*d which connects us with Jesus the Word and through him with G*d.
These sapphires are for you to take. We’d like you to write any questions you come up with about the bible and anything in it, then bring them back to us. You don’t have to do it right away; you can bring them back another time if you like. We promise to try to help you find some kind of answer, somehow.
Dan Barnes-Davies, 24 October 2015
Given at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Arbury, Bible Sunday 25 October 2015
at 8am in an abridged, less interactive form (lacking the diamonds);
and at 10am All Age in the above form.