the sweet juice of the bible

More than a great book, the bible is the Word of God written and it stills speaks today. The Bible is not a dead book. It is living and full of vibrant heart-piercing life. The word of God is living and powerful.  It has hands to lay hold of you and feet to run after you. It has power to subdue you. The New testament letter to the Hebrews says that the Word of God is sharper than the sharpest of swords. It has the power to search out thoughts deep within our mind.

 

The Jerusalem Declaration of 2008, which I have signed and is referenced in the Constitution of our diocese says, “We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.”  How wonderful to be so freely able to hold the Word of God written in our hands and to read it each day.

 

Our diocese is named ‘The Anglican Diocese of the Living Word’ and we believe the Bible is a living word which speaks into our lives today. 

 

  • It says to the sinner, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
  • It says to those who are bereaved, Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Matthew 5:4
  • It says to the divided, Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.  Acts 10:34-35
  • It says to the fearful, Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  Psalm 23:4
  • It says to the lonely, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10
  • It says about the future, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:35-39

 

I appreciate the words of martyred Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer who said, ‘Let us night and day muse, meditate and contemplate the Scriptures. Let us ruminate, and (as it were) chew the cud, that we may have the sweet juice, spiritual effect, honey, kernel, taste, comfort, and consolation of them.’

 

So may we treasure the word of God - vivus est enim Dei sermo - it is living… it is active… sharper than any two edged sword and the bible will speak into every circumstance we face today. Open the Bible.  Read the Bible.  Study the Bible. it speaks today! He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 2:29

 

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by the patience and comfort of thy holy word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.