The Scripture Union is one of the nine charities and mission partners that are supported by St John’s, and Scripture Union information, including examples of the Bible reading notes, will be on the mission notice board at the back of the church during October.
The mission statement for the Scripture Union is 'Using the Bible to inspire children, young people and adults to know God'. It aims for:
- every Christian to be engaging enthusiastically with the Bible and growing in their faith
- every church to be fully equipped to make disciples of children and young people
- every community to have a vital Christian witness to children, young people and families.
At St John’s the following Scripture Union Bible reading notes are available every quarter: Daily Bread is practical, helping readers apply God’s Word to real life, Encounter with God provides a thoughtful and systematic approach, while Closer to God emphasises a creative and reflective journey through the Bible.
I started reading SU notes soon after I first came to St John’s 25 years ago and I have found the habit of regular and structured Bible reading a very important part of my Christian journey. I started as a fully grown adult but Anne had the opportunity as a girl to read the notes written for children and she describes what this meant to her in the next article.
AS a child I had the huge advantage and privilege of growing up in a missionary family, so from an early age I was used to a pattern of daily prayer and Bible reading after breakfast and before bed, as well as learning quickly that God was always ready to hear my prayers at any time of the day or night.
But it wasn't until the age of nine that I discovered for myself the joy of having my own 'Quiet Times'...... We were on leave in England, and were spending time as a family at a Scripture Union Beach Mission in Wales. The children were divided into appropriate age groups, and each morning we would meet up in our group amongst the sand-dunes (did we have 'proper' summers in those days?!) to read the Scripture Union passage for the day with our leader, and discuss its relevance to our daily lives.
Then as now, the sessions were themed, with 'Secret Service' as our topic, and each morning we had to choose a 'Password' from the passage – a short phrase which was particularly meaningful – which we committed to memory. At any time of the day we could challenge (or be challenged by!) other members with “Psst.....Password” - and woe betide us if we couldn't remember it! I determined then that I would continue to have my 'Quiet Times', and for many years memorised a 'password', which stored up a rich treasury of Scripture verses (though I confess I'm not so good at memorising now!!).
Since that time it has become part of my daily routine, and I still use and value my Scripture Union notes – having graduated through various levels as I grew older! I admit it hasn't always been easy - boarding-school meant an early alarm call and a torch under the bedclothes; working days meant forfeiting a longed-for lie-in; and often I find my thoughts wandering and feel I have gained little.
But I'm so glad I established that habit which has come to mean so much to me over the years, and which now I would miss so much. I would encourage everyone to make a habit of setting aside time each day to read God's Word, to pray and to listen to him. You may be surprised at the difference it makes to our daily lives!
SCRIPTURE UNION aims to make God''s good news known to children, adults, young people and families, and to encourage people of all ages to meet with God daily through Bible reading and prayer. They publish a wide range of literature - including ''It''s Your Move'' for children moving up to secondary school - and offer training, support, and a variety of holiday events for whole families. Bible Reading Notes, in various formats and for all ages, are available from Gill Matson.
See www.scriptureunion.org.uk for daily Bible readings