Tag Archives: bible

Seek and ye shall find

I’m not really a believer in those ‘open up the bible at the right page and it will answer your question’ theories. Quite honestly, I think if I’m going to get an answer to my question, its going to come when I don’t expect it, not on cue because thats when I want it.

But. This lent I’ve restarted the words for today daily readings, partly in an attempt to pull myself out of a kind of spiritual wilderness of only ever really thinking about faith as part of writing sermons. Anyway, I also decided I wanted to read Marks Gospel, cos I never have and people say its a good one to read, and its one of the modules on the LP course, to name a few reasons.

The chapter I got to today had the story of the storm at sea. The disciples are caught in the most terrible storm, the boat is rocking and they’re all about to be tossed overboard. And Jesus is asleep. Nevermind how is he sleeping through that in the first place (doesn’t anyone else ever think that?), the disciples are yelling at him to wake up and sort things out.

Jesus, for goodness sake, what are you doing just sitting by and letting this happen? Can’t you see things are really difficult here? We’re going to drown in a minute if you don’t do something! And he stands up, and stills the storm. And asks them ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’

Well that told me. I’m not sure I always believe it, like the disciples I frequently doubt and think I’ve been forgotten, that he ought to have done something by now. But maybe I need to hear those words more often.

This week I have a job interview. The right job, in the right place, at what is pretty much the perfect time. Very soon things in my current job start to get crazy again, I lose my free time, and probably my mind. People expect me to start committing to other things here, which are made harder by the hours I work. This is it, and the prospect of not getting it is scary. And I’m tempted to yell at God ‘why haven’t you sorted it out yet?’ Today I think I needed to hear those words.

As it was in the beginning?

I recently wrote a bible study for SCM, in connection with this years theme; Small World, which looks at the connections between different parts of the world, and the impacts various changes in the environment will have on every individual, regardless of faith, class or social standing. In this study I focussed on the creation story at the beginning of Genesis.

The theme I was trying to follow was the question of where the creation story ends. The account of creation stops at the end of this passage, but what happens then? God the father, the creator, is beginning and ending, he is ever present, so we are told, so we believe. Does he stop creating at the end of the second verse of Genesis chapter 2?! Reading this passage it is easy to think so; the world came into being, God was pleased, and stopped to rest and admire his handiwork. And that was that. But the world we live in is far from constant. It has changed in many ways, some more rapid and more noticeable than others, and continues to do so. This is something we cannot dispute.

I find it hard to imagine, or to believe in, a God who is involved in the creation of his world over a finite period of time, and then steps out of the picture, having nothing more to do with it as it grows. If we profess a faith in a living, omnipresent God, who listens to and answers prayer, and is ‘pleased’ with his creation, surely this God is actively present in our lives, and consequently, in the evolution and continuing development of this world? And if we accept that God is still creating, changing, shaping our world, then we also, as his creation, as his followers, have a part to play. The creation is documented, in the form of a story (which you may or may not believe to be literally true, that doesn’t matter), in the beginning chapters of the bible. It tells how the earth was formed out of the vacuum of space, something from nothing. Inspiring stuff. But still more inspiring surely, is the possibility that this description of the creation is there to show us the continuing story of which we are part. The first chapter of Genesis tells not the whole story of how the world was made, but the first chapter in the life of this planet. The next chapters are being written now, by you and me.