During the period between 2001 and 2007 I was the owner of a cleaning business. One of my contracts was with a local cereal factory. One morning, I joined in a conversation with a group of workers who were dismissing the Bible and one person in particular with the air of authority said it was full of contradictory errors. I contributed with, “Hang on, I’m a Christian, I love reading my Bible, in fact I have one in my car, I’ll go and get it and you can show me where all these errors are.” Within thirty seconds I had my Bible out of the car and put it in the man’s hand, He held it gingerly and sheepishly admitted that he had never held a Bible before, yet alone read it!
I have observed there is a trend within society to dismiss the Bible as being irrelevant for our modern societal needs. Many will say that the Bible is full of fairy tales, urban myths and some like those in my story above with a false air of authority speak dismissively about it; while having never read it. The truth is that the Bible is about people. It’s about the world. It’s full of stories about real people. About real struggles and failures! About real victories and success! It’s about purpose and identity. It’s about relationship. And it’s about the relationship and experience these real people had with God and with each other.
The Bible tells many stories which spans thousands of years. It contains sixty six books and is divided into two segments which we call the Old and the New Testaments. Those books contain history, philosophy, poetry and song. The New Testament begins with the birth and life of Jesus. It begins with real people who have real struggles in a real world. It begins with family. It tells stories of broken relationship and community. It tells the stories of personal hope and victory. It shares with us the struggles people have in making a living and their journeys of life. It shares how some of the rich and the powerful look down on the poor. It speaks of governmental oppression, corruption wars and peace. It tells us about the birth and death of loved ones. And it shares many real personal stories of hope, encouragement, purpose and love.
And so in many ways our own societal needs and struggles are but an echo of those who have gone before us in the record of Scripture. And it comforts, encourages and gives us hope, for it tells us about the God who is for us and not against us.