Every few months I receive the latest copy of Bible Reflections for Older People (writes Debbie Thrower) and I marvel at the way our writers capture just what’s needed to bring comfort from the Bible passages they have chosen. I can thoroughly recommend these notes to you and, indeed, any of your circle who might need a bit of encouragement.
The reflections come out three times a year so each contains four months of readings. I love the way these Bible notes aren’t calendar dated, so you’re not made to feel guilty for missing a day here and there when life gets busy!
The new edition for May–August 2023 introduces a new writer to the team, Lynn Goslin. She has lots of interesting life experience.
Lynn has lived abroad, in Canada, then in rural Norfolk among other places and has worked as a speech and language therapist, raised children and has known the heartbreak of a marriage ending. She is involved in all sorts of ways with her local church and home groups.
When we first devised Bible Reflections for Older People we knew we wanted writers who’d approach their theme from the point of view of how the Bible helps us lead our everyday life. They are not so much about brushing up your overall knowledge of the Bible (though that’s bound to happen along the way) as about applying the wisdom of scripture to our contemporary situations – with all the doubts and fears that are entailed.
Taking the theme for her debut – ‘Do not be afraid’ – Lynn Goslin has chosen to focus on key lines of the prophet Isaiah as well as some phrases from the gospel writers and from the New Testament epistles. I think you’ll enjoy her straightforward writing style, as I certainly have done.
Overall, the reflections make very appropriate gifts for friends or relatives – far longer lasting than taking someone a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates! The accessible approach to thinking about deeper issues means you could give them to people who may not necessarily describe themselves as committed Christians but are, nevertheless, open to exploring spiritual aspects of life.
Anna Chaplains wanting fresh ideas for conversation-starters with people they visit regularly can also find plenty of inspiration within these pages. Each reflection is completed by a short prompt for prayer.
To whet your appetite some more, this edition also contains reflections from regular contributor Martyn Payne. His series ‘Think about these things’ is based on Philippians 4:8–9.
Lin Ball has written ‘Bless you!’ on the beatitudes. She writes: ‘It’s all about the health of the heart and soul, about wholeness and human flourishing.’
Roger Combes has focused on some ‘Surprising saviours’: ‘Who would have thought that God would choose the unpopular Joseph, or a baby floating precariously in the bulrushes, to save the children of God? Other “surprise saviours” were a pagan dictator, a beautiful queen, a boy who was “too young”, a bronze sculpture and a timid farmer feeling insignificant.’
Within the central, magazine-style, pages you’ll also find a memorable feature on Jane Bull, a centenarian on the Isle of Wight who still writes a regular column for her parish magazine and recently won a community award for her contribution to her local community!
In short, every edition of Bible Reflections for Older People has something for everyone – irrespective of age – who would like to deepen their appreciation of life. If you haven’t tried them yet, do get a copy of this new edition and if you get hooked you can splash out on an annual subscription. Maybe you’ll make a present of a subscription to a friend or elderly parent who’d also get a great deal from reading and reflecting on them.