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WHY READ THIS BLOG?

It is a couple of months since I started this Blog, so I thought perhaps this was a question my followers might be asking, and also a good question to ask myself.

I was called to be a missionary: that is someone who preaches and expounds the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus, both to those who have never heard it and to those who have. At one time in my training I had a teacher who explained to me the task of the preacher. He put it like this:

"People will sometimes ask you, 'How do you think of something new to say each week in the pulpit?' It should not be difficult. In one hand, you have the Bible, the whole Word of God; in the other hand, you have the daily newspaper, reporting on all of human life. It is your job to bring the two together, so that each one sheds light on the other.

"It does not really matter which end you start from, so long as you make a connection between the two. That is what will interest and stimulate your hearers. But if you have not struck oil in the first two minutes, stop boring!"

I have tried to follow that advice, both in the pulpit and in writing this blog. In the pulpit week by week, I believe that the preacher's job is usually to start from the Bible. One way or another the Word of God should be read aloud in church in a systematic way, so that over a period of time all the main stories of the Bible are told. The Church of England provides a Lectionary for the readings at Sunday worship. It provides that over a period of three years the whole of the New Testament and much of the Old Testament are read. The preacher's job week by week should usually be to relate at least one of these passages to our daily lives.

In this blog, on the other hand, my aim is to reflect upon some matter of interest or concern in our daily lives, and to try to see what light is shed upon it by the Word of God. Such a reflection is hard to come by otherwise. It is not the job of News-readers, journalists, or presenters in the secular media, to enquire what God has to say about what is going on in the world, and very few of them would be equipped to do so anyway. Maybe then, there is a gap to be filled, both for the benefit of Christians, who are otherwise at the mercy of secular commentators about what to think and to do, but also for the benefit of sceptics and unbelievers, who may find a new and enlightening perspective in God's Word upon the world in which we all live.

There is usually a gulf between what we read or hear in the News, and what we Christians read in our devotions. On the one hand we read to feed our souls with the Word of God; on the other we read to inform our minds about the world around us. Rarely in my experience are there many resources that help us to bring the two together. But this is such an important task: so that, on the one hand we can see our lives in the world with a godly perspective, and on the other hand find a new and unique source of help and comfort in God as we confront the challenges and troubles of our times.

There was a bracelet on sale at Christian events a few years ago, bearing the initials W.W.J.D. It stood for, 'What Would Jesus Do'? It was to remind us to ask this question of ourselves whenever we faced some doubt or dilemma. It is a good guide. You could say that this Blog is asking the question, 'What Would Jesus Say?' about the questions and issues that we face here in the 21st century, day by day. It is a question that perhaps we all ought to be asking ourselves every day. But I doubt if we do, or not enough.

I am not making any special claims for myself as I try to do this here, week by week. I trust in the Holy Spirit to guide me, as we all should at all times. I will probably get it wrong sometimes, as I do in every other area of my life, sometimes. But I am trying, and I hope that this will encourage you to try, whether you agree with me or not.

I also hope that if you pass the link to this Blog on to others, who are perhaps not so familiar with the Word of God, that they may find it a stimulus to explore the new perspective that the Gospel of our Lord Jesus brings to every aspect of our lives here on earth.

_____


Next week: a look at The Cost of Living

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