Thanks to Bible Society New Zealand for this story.
This month is Bible Month, Bible Society’s nationwide initiative to encourage churches to engage with the Bible. Last year, St Alban’s Church in Eastbourne put into action the principles of Bible Society’s Pass It On campaign with great success. Church members at St Albans in purchased 70 Bibles which were passed on to children and youth in the wider church family and community at a special Bible Month service. Some Bibles even went to students at Wellesley College.
Bishop Eleanor, who was Vicar of St Alban’s and Wellesley College Chaplain at the time, shares: “As well as supporting the work of the Bible Society through Bible Month, we wanted to take up their challenge and literally Pass It On. One of the great things about the work of those translating the Bible today is the multi-generational forms that the Bible is now shaped for. The pass it on message of Bible Month felt like a great invitation for our church to really make the practical passing of the gift of the Bible a reality right now amongst our own families and communities.”
“People were really supportive. I specifically sent a message to our prayer e-mail list with the request to purchase more Bibles for particular young people in our community and I had a fantastic response.”
A Bible enthusiast herself, Bishop Eleanor shares how important God’s Word had been to her. “For me, the Bible has been such an important part of growing and understanding the love of God; both the love that God has for each of us, and this world, and also the love that we can have for God. I don’t think I would have found that love for God had it not been for finding the Bible first. Part of my faith story is that as a young teenager I woke one day with a huge urge to go and buy a Bible so that I could find out about God. I wasn’t part of a church or a church-going family and so this desire didn’t come from that influence. I got a bus into the nearby city and found a Christian bookshop and bought a little white Bible.
“Lots of the passages in the Bible confused me (and still do!), but through wrestling with them and reading more and more, I definitely found a strong chord of understanding that was a huge part of being drawn closer to making the decision to follow Jesus.”
“During the [Bible Month] church service I shared how later on in life God asked me to give this Bible away to another young person who was exploring spirituality. I shared that in my internal resistance to giving away something so precious, I remembered that God loved this person far more than I loved my precious Bible and so it is always an easy thing to say yes to passing on the gift of the Bible to others.”
For more information about Bible Month 2017 go to www.biblemonth.org.nz