Monday, May 21, 2018

The Book that Matters Most

My book club recently read a book titled, "The Book That Matters Most," by Anne HoodThe premise of the story is a book club where members chose their books for the year as the "book that mattered most" to each member of the group.  
I found that idea intriguing and tried to answer the question for myself.  My answer -- The Bible, no contest.  This book describes the life of Jesus, our Saviour. It includes his instructions to us on how to live, loving God and our neighbour, how to pray, how to forgive and how to trust in our Heavenly Father. 
     It contains the writings of early Christian leaders to guide the church as it proclaims Christ in the world today, and it ends with a vision of heaven.

 And that is only the New Testament.  Going back into the Old Testament we find a whole range of terrific stories, heroes of the faith like Daniel, obedient servants of God like Noah. Rahab, who risked her life to help the people of God.  Sarah who became the mother of a nation.
Then there are the beautiful psalms, songs of adoration, supplication, joy, sorrow, fear and thanksgiving.  If you can't find the words to express how you feel, read the psalms. I'm sure you'll find the verse that makes you say, "yes, that's it!"  
Of course, I've only given a few examples of the wonderful words and stories of the Bible.  If you had to choose a "desert island book," the Bible would be it.  You could read it again and again and find something more on each pass through the text.
 In fact, that is how Harry Swiggum, developer of the Bethel Bible Series found his life's work.  Stationed on a Pacific Island during World War II, he read the only book at hand, The Gideon's Bible issued to every serviceman.  When he'd gone from Genesis to Revelations, he started over, and over and over.  The Bible changed his life. When the war ended, he became an ordained minister.  He developed the Bethel Bible Study Series and changed the lives of millions of people.
In Hood's book the readers choose books like Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice, and Catcher in the Rye, among authors. According to the author's story, these books were important to particular people at a particular time.  It's a fun concept and we had a great time discussing favourite books at our meeting.
 But even the greatest classics, are a dim flicker of life compared to our Holy Bible.  You can pick up a copy, at SPPC.

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