Thursday, December 18, 2008

The middle verse of the Bible

Sorry folks - I haven't been able to post my sermons from last week, owing to a hardware failure on my computer. If I ever retrieve them, I'll pop them up!

In the meantime, one of the members of our Parish sent me an intriguing fact today.

What's the absolute middle verse of the Bible?

It's Psalm 118:8: "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man".

Further intriguing data about this verse includes the fact (apparently...I haven't checked for myself) that there are 594 chapters before Psalm 118, and 594 chapters after Psalm 118.

If you add 594 to get 1188. ( case you don't get it...looks rather like the reference to the middle verse...Psalm 118:8)

Makes you ponder doesn't it?

Is it that God has deliberately arranged the Bible in this way, so that we are meant to understand this as the absolute centre of his message to us?

Or is it that the Bible is so full of good advice for living that wherever the centre is, one is almost bound to find such good advice.

I don't know. And perhaps we aren't meant to know.

Perhaps that's part of the mystery.

In any case, in a world which is falling apart, economically and environmentally (and in just about every other way one can think of) its a verse we might all do well to ponder.

Let me type it again..."It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man".


Friday, December 05, 2008

Away in a Bus Shelter

Bus shelters across the UK are to feature an oil painting of the nativity this Christmas. The twist is that the painting depicts the holy family themselves huddled in an urban bus shelter. Artist Andrew Gadd, a Royal Academy Gold-medal winner, said a bus stop ‘is after all a shelter – a place people go to but never want to be. So where better to stage a nativity?’ He explained that the image will ‘reflect the environment’ it is shown in and ‘include the viewer’. The paintings will appear on posters sponsored by the Churches Advertising Network (CAN). Chairman Francis Goodwin said the aim is to help people ‘reassess what the birth of Jesus means to them’.
Pretty good stuff, I say.