Christians studying the Bible — it seems like a tautology.
As born again Christians, we recognise the need to read and study the Bible, benefit from doing it and miss out when we don’t. Without being legalistic, it’s a fair assumption to say that Christians who are walking with the Lord are reading His Word.
And yet, here in France, this is not widespread. ‘Christian’ here in France simply means that you belong to (or have loose ties with) the Catholic Church. Thus most ‘Christians’ here in France NEVER read the Bible (and may never have read the Bible at all, except maybe for a verse printed on a service outline).
After an Alpha course run by some Catholic friends here in town, there was great interest in continuing to meet to pray, sing praises and read the Bible. This was obviously good news to us and we wanted to make sure we were a part of it.
As no one knew where to
start or what they wanted to study, I suggested we look at Galatians (which seemed relevant to our group), which
no one (except for the old priest) knew anything about.
The group started with about 6-8 of us, and, for the first time, some of these Christians were able to actually read chunks of God’s Word!
Once we finished the first evening, people were really excited and wanting to study more, as they were discovering the Bible for the first time. “It’s actually really relevant and interesting” and “I did not know I could get excited about reading the Bible” were some of the comments afterwards.
The priest, who I’ve been able to get to know over the last few years, is very keen on having his parish/people read the Bible (which is great!), so he was very happy to have this group start up (as were we!). We’ve been looking at ways to start a Bible study/home group here in town for the last ten years, and while there are a few things we would do differently if this was ‘our group’, the fact that we’re studying the Bible text is fantastic, as it’s a good way of setting aside differences in belief and just looking at what God’s Word is saying.
Please pray for this group of Christians (and for the Catholic population in general, as apparently they are studying the Bible more and more), that through studying the Bible together they would actually discover Jesus as their Lord and Saviour!
Daniel & Candide Weekes