S.A.C.R.E.D

Several members of our congregation have embarked on a new way of reading the Holy Bible. Rather than trying to work our way through it in one of the existing ways of studying God's Word we have decided to follow a new initiative formulated by the Rev Philip Moon, Vicar of Little Aston, Sutton Coldfield.  Phillip came along to give us a talk about SACRED and it seemed to be a very interesting and extremely innovative way of reading the Bible. We are also taking up his suggestion of having a monthly meeting to share our thoughts on the month's passages and reflections from the accompanying daily study book.

Saturday 6th February will be our first meeting and we plan on meeting at 8.30am in church for a light breakfast and then to start  our discussions and reflections at 9.00am lasting for about an hour. 

We will then meet on the first Saturday in each month and follow a similar pattern as we work through the Bible readings. There is no pressure at all to attend the monthly Saturday morning groups either to partake in breakfast or in the following discussions and reflections.

If you feel happier following the SACRED course on your own that is perfectly OK so please do not feel under any pressure.

For further insight into SACRED please read the following passage which is the foreword to the volume one of the study books.

Simply A Chapter Read Each Day

The Bible is an epic book. It provides us with an extraordinary collection of stories and sayings, poems and prophecies, letters and lists, covering several thousand years and written by many different authors, all inspired by the habd of the Holy Spirit.  Above all it tells us about God and, supremely, points us to his Son, Jesus, inviting us into a personal relationship with him.

Mahatma Gandhi once said this about ther attitude of Christians to the Bible: "You look after a document containing enough dynamite to blow all civilisation to pieces, turn the world upside down, and bring peace to a battle-torn planet. But you treat it as though it were nothing more than a piece of literature."  That's actually an understatement. Surveys repeatedly find that even practicing Christians rarely take the time to read it. Yet we expect the rest of the world to respect a book that we ourselves neglect.

How about you?  How well do you know God's Word? Would you like to know it better?

There are many daily reading schemes that seek to cover the whole Bible. Most of them have three significant shortcomings. First, the amount to read each day is too much to really engage with the content. This is especially true of those schemes which aim to read through the Bible in one year. second, they often start on page one of the Old Testament and work through in sequence until the end of the New. Readers enthusiasm can easily wane where successive books are from too similar a genre. And third, there is often little in the way of explanation or application.

The SACRED approach is different! Sacred stands for 'simply a chapter read each day', and it does what it says on the tin!  One chapter of the Bible is read every day for thirty days each month. This means that seven months of the year will include a rest day, while in February you will need to double up on two days.

In this way the whole Bible is covered over forty months - itself a good biblical number. Individual books of the Bible are read from start to finish with the exception of the 150 Psalms  (spread out over the forty months) and Isaiah, longest of the Old Testament prophets (read in two parts). Variety is maintained by moving between the Old and New Testaments reasonably regularly, and by separating out similar genres of literature.  

In addition, each day the will be a page of accompanying notes. These notes offer explanations, anecdotes and stories as well as some life application ideas that are helpful for personal or group reflection. Remember, though, that the main objective is to immerse yourself in God's Word, and see what he might be saying to you through it. The  notes are a companion to the Bible designed to facilitate this rather tha a detailed or definitive commentary on it.

SACRED will be published in six volumes , each containing either six or seven months readings. It is recommended that you use a modern translation of the Bible such as the New International Version or the Good News Bible. Before you begin each day pray that God will speak to you. Then read the passage, read the notes and reflect quietly and prayerfully for a short time.

Ideally, you might also try to join with a few other people who are making the same journey through the Bible. Perhaps you could meet once a month for an hour or two to enable you to share with one another how you found the previous month's readings - which parts were helpful and uplifting, and which were particularly challenging.

However you approach SACRED, though, my prayer is that through it you may grow spiritually, day by day.

Rev. Phillip Moon.

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If anyone would like to have more information please contact us by email.