By older people, for older people
Updated: May 28, 2020
Forty days of readings – three times a year
Three times a year a new issue of Bible Reflections for Older People come out – always on a variety of themes. This time it's food, the ever-popular shepherd psalm, how to keep one's faith and Jesus' love for animals.
All the reflections are by older people themselves, so the writers have first-hand experience of growing older rather than teaching their grandmother to suck eggs, as the old saying goes! The font size is large enough to be accessible and as well as a short excerpt of Bible text, there's a reflection and a prompt for prayer.
The reflections are deliberately pitched so they are profound enough to speak powerfully into a person's situation in later life, yet simple and straightforward enough for people who may be cognitively challenged through dementia or other frailty to find what they're reading (or having read to them) resonates and is sustaining.
Every edition features a middle magazine section I introduce, with inspiring stories, interviews, poems and profiles. Did editor, Eley McAinsh, have the gift of second sight for this latest May to August edition? She quotes research showing just how beneficial time spent out in the midst of nature can be for our well-being, little knowing that by the time of publication we'd be locked down and we know just how much any time spent out of doors (and particularly if we have access to a garden) helps boost morale.
Writers on this occasion include 'Tricia Williams, whose research I've recently highlighted in a blog post and with whom there is an interview in the middle section, as well as retired vicar Roger Combes, Sue Richards who is a deacon in her local church, and Tony Horsfall who, again, features in a blog I've just posted.
Consider a gift subscription to feed the soul
Each copy contains 40 reflections that are deliberately left undated so no one is made to feel guilty for missing a day's reading! The subject matter is less about brushing up your knowledge of the Bible and more about applying the wisdom of such time-honoured passages and their ability to speak directly into our lived experience as we age.
By way of encouraging readers, I say in this month's welcome letter: 'The Bible reflections are designed to feed the soul and the imagination. By reading the thoughts of others on this path of ageing, I hope we each find food and light for the journey…'
At a time when it's hard, if not impossible, to go shopping to choose a tangible gift, a £19.65 annual subscription to these Bible Reflections for Older People is a gift that continues across a whole twelve months, always reminding the recipient not only of the giver but of the God who is our 'Great Provider'.