Getting It Together
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another…”
Hebrew 10:24-25 (NKJV)
As a fellowship, we are not unique in having annual conferences, and at one time we have held them on cruise ships and during trips to exotic countries. Perhaps most memorable of these was a group organised to tour parts of China at a time when the West considered the Communist regime as totally hostile to Christianity. One startling fact that went against all preconceptions happened during a tour of a printing works. China, it turns out, routinely prints more copies of the Bible in Chinese and many other languages than any other non-Christian country.
David Norton’s book A History of the English Bible as Literature seeks to tell the story of the English Bible as a source and outgrowth from literature such as Shakespeare and Chaucer. The Authorised Version of the Bible came to be regarded as almost sacred and inspired in its own right, as a translation, in the 1850s, but that AVdolatry, as he calls it, has waned so that today the Bible is jeered and ridiculed by men of learning.
They should have been at our festival! One long-term minister who’s been around for 57 years, told us, following a Bible study, “I’ve been involved in Christianity for all those years and still someone can bring material to my attention that I’ve never heard of before!” And the emphasis developed during the week included the idea that we should aim to have Scripture burn into us as once it did when first we came into the church. When Jesus taught his disciples, that was the effect on them (Luke 24:32).
Our Autumn Festivals have traditionally jolted our jaded consciences and behaviour, boosting us ready for the winter and another year walking with our God. There are those who cannot attend for all sorts of legitimate reasons, I understand, but non-attendance does mean that members pay a price, missing out on the benefits. Still, we hold weekly meetings throughout the world; check our website for local congregations near you and times of meeting. Lethargy can become a way of life, with years merging into years without end. So don’t put it off. Meanwhile, there’re several weeks to go until our next Autumn festivals, but in the meantime messages from our various sites are available via the web.
Holy Father, you understand us so well. You know that we don’t work well as solitary individuals. That’s why you created congregations, and allowed many churches of all kinds of hue, so that all of your people can find somewhere in which to fit comfortably. Nonetheless, Father, we need to help one another, to provoke one another, to exhort one another in love and to live the life you call us to. This we pray in Jesus’ name.
Study by John Stettaford
Worldwide Church of God Reading
6th Form Common Room
Honey End Lane
READING RG30 4EL
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