Opinion

It’s a good read, over and over...

By Riverine Herald

I RECENTLY had the chance to enjoy a few days away and after putting our boys to bed one night I opened up a book that I’d read before.

It was something of a joy to realise that because it had been quite a while, I couldn’t quite remember how the story ended.

Even when I do remember them perfectly, there are a number of books on my shelf that I happily re-read regularly.

I know I’m not alone in this, though for you it might be a movie or TV show, an album or track or a dish that you keep returning to.

Sometimes we discover details that we’d missed before, subtleties that had eluded us the first time around.

Sometimes we have to go back for a second or third pass to understand a story properly.

Sometimes knowing how it all ends changes the way we appreciate the journey on the way through.

Sometimes it takes time to fully appreciate the depth and complexity of a story, a song or a dish.

All of these are true when it comes to the Bible.

Of course, it’s possible to read through the Bible all in one go, once you make it past the lists of laws and numerous names towards the start.

But even if you did the Bible’s not the kind of book to be put back on the shelf but to be read and re-read and re-read.

Each time we do, whether in part or in whole, there are new things to discover and in which to delight.

There’s a sense in which no matter what we might feel like reading, there’s a good chance we’ll find it in the Bible.

For the Bible is more than just a collection of nice stories we might remember from Sunday school, or comforting words or pithy advice for troubling situations.

In the books of the Bible there’s action and adventure, history and biography, poetry and erotica, travel diaries, fantastical visions, and genealogies and lists for those who like reading those kinds of things.

Through it all, God reveals himself to us.

The Bible is the unfolding story of God’s love for his people and the lengths he will go for them and in its pages we learn more of what he has done for us and what he desires from us.

So if you’re looking for something to read these holidays, can I encourage you to pick up a Bible and give it a read.

If that’s something you do already, carry on.

There’s nothing I find more encouraging than the sight of a Bible that’s ready to fall apart from being well-read and well used.

But if it’s been a while and you need to dust one off, jump into the middle, the accounts of the life of Jesus are the best place to start.

And if there’s not a copy of the Bible on your shelves but it’s something that you might like to read, please visit any of the churches in town, we’d love to give you a copy so that you can discover this great book, and the great God behind it, for yourself.

George Hemmings

Christ Church Anglican