Encouragement for the Journey – 17/07/11

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Encouragement for the Journey – 17/07/11

Greetings fellow traveller,

Today is bible Sunday and I thought I would offer you these words from the Rev Frederick Buechner (Presbyterian Minister & Author).

“In short, one way to describe the Bible, written by many different people over a period of three thousand years and more, would be to say that it is a disorderly collection of sixty – odd book, which are often tedious, barbaric and obscure, and which teem with contradictions and inconsistencies. It is a swarming compost of a book, an Irish stew of poetry and propaganda, law and legalism, myth and murk, history and hysteria. Over the centuries it has become hopelessly associated with tub – thumping evangelism and dreary piety, with superannuated superstition and blue –nosed moralising, with ecclesiastical authoritarianism and crippling literalism.”

Now in some churches, Buechner’s portrayal of the Bible could possibly get him lynched. My reading of his writing, and shows he deeply loves the bible affirming it as God’s word, and on the hand recognises it is a deeply human work.

I find his description of the Bible as ‘a swarming compost of a book’ most apt. Compost is the decomposing remnants of organic materials that usually are packed rich in nutrients and natural fertilizer for plant growth.

So too on one level the Bible is a heap of leftovers, decomposing remnants of ancient peoples struggle to travel the journey of faith, to understand God and to be authentic in the their lives.

We today can truly benefit from the rich theological and spiritual; nutrients from the past in the Bible to nourish and strengthen us on our faith journey.

Meanwhile Peace

Alf