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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Dalziel

Books (29-05-2023)

While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:15-27)


But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Acts 2:14-21)


Thought

It is over a year ago now since my dad died and during that time I have gained a great deal of comfort from reading some of the books that I know were so important to him. There is not a great deal of space in my parents’ bungalow and my dad was an avid reader, so the few books that actually made it onto the book shelves had to be worth keeping. I am not a fast reader, unlike my dad, so it is taking me quite a while to work my way through the books, but I am really valuing and enjoying the experience. I started with an author that dad had a lot of books by, which is Philip Yancey, and I am now on my 7th book. There is something so lovely about knowing you are reading a book that was important to someone who was special to you and, in my case, being able to hold the same copy of the book that they did.


When reading our bibles we may feel as if there is so much that is missing, so much information about Jesus that we do not know, so many years of his life on earth that we know nothing about. At the end of his gospel John writes “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” This gives us an explanation but does not satisfy our need for more.


What we do know is that Jesus knew his scriptures, so much so, that he was able to quote from them when needed and on the road to Emmaus he explained what was written about himself to the two disciples. His disciples too knew their scriptures. We have just celebrated Pentecost and when Peter preaches to the crowds who have witnessed the effect of the Holy Spirit on the disciples he quotes from the prophet Joel to explain what had happened.


The Old Testament is not always an easy part of the bible to read. Some of it does not seem to make sense, some is in the form of poetry, some seems to relate to a time and situations that have gone, but as Christians we are missing out if we only read the New Testament and ignore the Old. Why would we not want to read a book that was important to Jesus? Why would we not want to read what he read?


As I continue to read books that were important to my dad, I am challenged to read books that were important to Jesus too.


Prayer

Father God, we thank you for your word as it is given to us through both the Old and the New Testaments. Help us with our understanding when we read it.

Amen




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