Posted under The Rectory Bulletin
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness - 2 Timothy 3:16
This is a well known verse, particularly as it speaks of the nature of the words we have bound between the covers of our Bibles. They are ‘God-breathed’, a word the Apostle coined himself and brings to mind the mist which forms in front of our mouths as we puff about on a cold morning. The words are breathed-out, and then caught in the pages of Scripture.
Paul then goes on to speak of what these words can do for us. They teach us paths in which to walk and doctrines to be stored up in our minds. At times they bring us up short with reproof and they train us in living righteous lives.
And they are profitable for correction.
Perhaps this is my overactive imagination, but this brings to mind the Houses of Correction which were set up in the seventeenth century, where rope was unpicked. Punishment isn’t in mind here, though, but rather ‘correcting, restoration, improvement’. In other words, the words of scripture can restore us to who we should be. They can correct faults within us.
When we look at our Bibles I wonder what we think. Are they reminders of long past events, such as a confirmation? Are they arcane books, stiff with unuse? Or do we see them as breathed-out by God, and full of potential and power?
Here is Love, vast as the Ocean
But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out (John 10:3) - Follow the Good Shepherd who leads you to still waters, and beware those who may beguile you down murkier paths.