There’s something I’ve noticed when I get together with old friends to talk about days gone by: we remember the same events differently. By Mark Giacobbe Sometimes these differences involve discrepancies that beg to be resolved. But usually they involve different perspectives; different angles on the same event, with each person contributing a part of the whole that none of us possesses alone. We see in part, and we need one another to fill out our picture of the world. I believe this is why there are four Gospels. Through the multiple perspectives of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, God has given us four views—four portraits—of Jesus and his work in the world. Each author has a distinctive voice that tells the story of a multi-dimensional Jesus.
One clue that a fictional character has become truly influential in a culture is when that character is known by people who have never read the novels or seen the films in which that character first appeared. Many people know who Sherlock Holmes is even if they have never read a word of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories about him. By Joseph Bentz The fame of Mickey Mouse goes far beyond any particular cartoon in which he has appeared. People know of Harry Potter and Darth Vader even though they may have never read the Harry Potter books or watched the Star Wars films. Some characters, like Santa Claus or Barbie, did not even originate in a particular text but still have cultural influence worldwide.
As a kid, one of my favourite books was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I’d giggle and groan as my mum read to me every awful thing a boy named Alexander experiences in a single day. By Hannah DeMarco First, Alex’s breakfast cereal is missing a prize. Then he doesn’t get the seat he wants in the car, his mum forgets to pack dessert in his lunch bag, his dentist finds a cavity, an elevator closes on his foot, and he gets pushed into a mud puddle. Throughout this harrowing day, Alexander repeatedly exclaims, “I think I’ll move to Australia!” In the end, his mum reassures him that everyone has bad days—even Australians. Alexander learns a valuable lesson: it’s OK to have bad days.
Making decisions can be difficult. How do we know it’s the right one? The Bible gives us guidance and help to know we’re making the right choices. Here are ten Bible verses about making decisions. May your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10) You may make your plans, but God directs your actions. (Proverbs 16:9)
“Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68 Is there a particular Bible verse that has had a huge impact on your life? For Bible Society President, Cardinal John Dew, it was something Jesus said to Peter in John 6 that had a profound impact on him. Watch the video to hear Cardinal Dew talking about the impact of this passage and the Scriptures have had on his life.
The Old Testament book of Nehemiah is a fascinating insight into what happens to God’s people just before Jesus is born. After being exiled to Babylon, they are allowed to return to Judah and Jerusalem some decades later. They rebuild the Temple and then Nehemiah leads the people in the rebuilding of the city walls. It’s a great story of how a community bands together and achieves something everyone thought impossible. Our guest writer today, Barry Kirby from Wellington explains… Nehemiah is our man of focus today. When the book opens, Nehemiah is serving under the Persian King. He is a cupbearer to the King. This allows his access to, at the time, one of the most powerful men in the world.
Daily reading of Scripture is an important part of the Christian faith journey. So why is it so difficult? Maybe it’s because we are so consumed by daily life – the busy-ness of business, family, church and myriad of other things. Maybe it’s because we get distracted by TV, phones, gaming, shopping or eating? Maybe it’s because we’d simply rather do something else. In fact all of these are true. Bible Society’s research shows that these three things are the biggest barrier to Bible reading; “I’m too busy”, “I get distracted by other things,” and “It’s not a priority for me”. If you’re nodding your head when you read this, know that you’re not alone! But committing to a daily pattern of reading the Bible, as hard as that can be, can be one of the most rewarding and fruitful things you will ever do. Check out the video of Catholic leaders sharing why daily Scripture reflection is so important to them.