We are well into autumn, the nights are drawing in and we enter the season of long, dark,evenings sitting by the fire. I wonder what you will be reading this autumn.
Maybe it will be the Man Booker prize winner The Luminaries. At 892 pages that would be some read! Or maybe you, like me, will curl up with Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. At over 1500 pages, it is more than enough to last the whole winter.
And yet, for all the brilliance of these and other similarly esteemed publications, there is a book that outshines them all and that demands our attention - a book that most of us will already own a copy of and yet seldom actually read. That book is the Bible.
The uniqueness of the Bible
'All Scripture is inspired by God,' says St Paul, 'and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.'
Reading the Bible is the principal way in which we find out how to live life as God intends and prepare ourselves to be the people God wants us to be. Bible reading is not an 'optional extra' for keen Christians: it is essential to life.
What are we saying to God?
All scripture is inspired by God - literally God breathed. Think about that for a moment. The Bible is God breathed... if we believe this how can we do other than give it time and attention and take what it says seriously? And if we are not doing that, what are we saying to God ... 'I can do without your advice, thank you very much?'
Words of Life
'The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life, Jesus said. We are fortunate in having those words easily available to us, words that can bring is abundant life. I do hope that you will enjoy whatever novel, biography or other work you have decided to read this autumn, but I pray that you will also add the Bible to your reading list, (especially the New Testament), for it is there, and only there, that we find words of spirit and life that our creator God has provided for our benefit.