The Book

What are you reading lately? Winter is a good season to cozy up near the fireplace with a good book, right? Do you prefer drama, poetry, biography, fiction, self-help? Why do you prefer a certain kind of reading material?

And they are vastly different, aren’t they? You would not expect information on the best-rated home furniture from a cookbook. The owner’s manual for your car won’t have any current global news. The Guinness Book of World Records won’t have too much helpful relationship advice.

Have you read the book?

You know it. We see it when officials touch it as they are sworn in to office or when people testify to tell the truth in court. Most families are in possession of a copy. It regularly shows up as a quiz category on Jeopardy! Many people keep it on the coffee table or in a favored place on a prominent book shelf. According to Guinness World Records as of 1995, it is the best-selling book of all time, with an estimated 5 billion copies sold and distributed.

It is revered, mysterious, and confusing. 

The Bible is the book I’m talking about. It is referred to as The Holy Bible or The Scriptures, among other things. The word, “bible,” literally means “the books.” The Christian Bible used by Protestants contains 66 individual books.
John Wesley, the eighteenth-century founder of the Methodist Movement, was one of the most widely read clergy of his day and a prolific author. This is what he said about The Bible. “O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be a man of one book.”

Reading the Bible is harder than it sounds. 

Just like the IKEA build that stretched into days of confusion and frustration, the commitment to read the entire Bible in a year can feel like you have 'bitten off more than you can chew.' It doesn't take very long sometimes to discover you just don't have what you need to see it through to a meaningful and successful completion.

If reading the entire Bible was a New Year's resolution for you this year, and you started at the very beginning, you may have already hit difficult (and boring!) sections of the Old Testament that have you scratching your head and wondering what in the world any of it means. Maybe you've even given up. Maybe you've not ever tried to read it all – it’s just too daunting of a task. Or for you, the Bible has maybe been used as a weapon to belittle and shame.

The Bible is complex; it can be difficult to understand; and it has been misused and abused over the centuries. But maybe - just maybe - there is another way to look at it.

Join us in all adult worship on February 9, 16, and 23, to take a fresh look at the Bible. 

Whether you don't believe in any of it, you find it weird and confusing, you are just curious, or you are a follower of Jesus wanting a better understanding of the sacred text, you are invited to join PUMC in Classic and NewDay Praise Worship to explore “The Book: How to Read It, Love It, and Live It.”

Go in peace. Go with God. And be well.

Shalom,

Charlie Wilfong
Senior Pastor

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