Grown Up Bible Stories

25th November 2023

I love the Old Testament, I love the New Testament too, but there’s something about the characters that you encounter in the Old Testament that fills me with hope. At Sunday’s Breakfast Church we are going to meet some of those men and women, starting with Abraham in November the.

When I was growing up my mum would read me Bible stories from the Taylors Bible Story Book. There I encountered people who were brave, courageous and wise, those who listened to and obeyed God. As I’ve got older and have reread those stories, and many more which didn’t make the ‘child friendly’ cut, I’ve been more likely to encounter the fearful, the selfish, the misguided, the cruel, those who choose their own path. Often the mix of characteristics are found woven together in the same individuals. It is this rounded mix within individuals which gives me hope.

There is a place for the child friendly stories but if that is where we stay, we miss out on so much. If we don’t wrestle with the difficult passages and unsavoury characters, we risk limiting our understanding and imagination who God is. The bible is both amazingly simple, a love story of Creator God’s desire to partner with created humanity, and incredibly complex, a collection of literature full of interwoven themes and imagery which a lifetime is not long enough to comprehend. Reading and studying the bible, as individuals and as a faith community, should both encourage and challenge us, deepening our relationship with God, one another and ourselves.

In the coming months as we encounter these characters together, I would encourage you to look beyond the headlines of the children’s story book and see the depths of human experience. My prayer is that, as we engage with these characters, we will meet men and women who encountered God; who engaged with God and wrestled in the reality of their lives with God.

There are lots of good recourses available to help us engage with the bible. One I have found particularly useful recently is I like the mix of video, blog and podcast enabling me to interact at different levels, from 6 minute whole book overviews to hour-long word or theme studies.

Joanne Meharg, St Mary’s Churchwarden, Ministry Team Member