Sermon & Talks

Don’t judge the book by it’s cover.

Last year we marked the 400thanniversary of the King James Bible, there were conferences, seminars and Church services held nationally to mark the event. But I wonder how many of us were inspired to pick up our Bible’s in response to the celebrations?
The thing is the Bible still holds a unique place in our cultural heritage and the history of this nation. It has sold more copies than any other book in history and is still the number #1 best seller internationally (so much so it doesn’t actually get included onn the official lists of these things) Yet fewer and fewer of us in this country are actually getting the book down from the shelf and reading it.
That is why I am really excited about starting Scripture Union’s E100 Challenge as a Church after Easter.
The E100 challenge is a challenge for each of us to read 100 key passages of the Bible over 20 weeks.
I hope we think of St Mary’s as Biblical church, a Church which holds the Bible in very high esteem. Yet despite the fact that the Bible has sold more copies that any other book in History, even within churches like ours it remains one of the least read. And if we do read it, we tend to stick to passages we like and understand.
E100 sets out to change that. The challenge for us all is to give some 10 minutes a day, for 5 days a week over the a 20 week period to get an overview of the whole of the Bible. Over that time you’ll get to read poetry and prose, historical narrative, parable and prophecy. There will be words of wisdom and challenge, laws and letters and apocalyptic visions with the aim that you’ll not only understand much more of the whole story of God’s plan of salvation for the world, but get such a love of this book that when the 20 weeks are over you’ll not be able to put it down.
We will be encouraging everyone to join a Buzz (study) group to engage with the challenge, to talk about what we have read and discovered as we have journeyed through the readings together and we will be looking at the sets of readings each week in our services.
As a Church we would love to welcome you to join us as we undertake this challenge, whether you worship with us, elsewhere or not at all. Why not explore this wonderful book with us. 
More details about E100 can be found on their website:
and study books and details of the buzz groups and other ways to engage with the challenge can be picked up from St Mary’s.
Together let’s pick up and look afresh at this book that has shaped our civilisation and still has so much to say to us today.
The E100 Challange starts on the 15th April

First Published in The Lytchett Matravers Parish Magazine, April 2012

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