In front of me was a wall of Bibles.
I needed to buy two as gifts for young people who were going to be confirmed.
There was a lot of choice. Which ones to choose?
Over the years I have been given Bibles to mark attending Sunday School, getting baptised, being confirmed and becoming a vicar. I have bought different types of Bibles; to help me study, to carry around with me, and with bigger print so I can read more comfortably.
For me the Bible is both a library and a toolbox.
It is a collection of different writing that has helped me learn about the relationship between God and humanity through the Hebrew Scriptures in the Old Testament, and the life of Jesus and the early church in the New Testament. It contains historic narratives, biographies, letters, songs, building instructions, laws, poetry (some a bit saucy), reflections on life, and lots of long lists of names. Exploring in different ways what in means to be flourish as a human created by God and the ways that we can find meaning and purpose in life.
Like a toolbox, the Bible allowed me to engage with God and shape my life. I use it to examine my motivation, dissected my thoughts, cut into knotty problems, carve out rhythms of life, work on relationships, and navigate different seasons of life. Getting to grips with the Bible is an on-going process that takes time, effort and the help of others to learn the skills and understanding needed to handle it well. Like a hammer, the Bible is ancient but still very useful. Also, like a hammer, if used incorrectly it can hurt rather than help others.
I ended up buying two study Bibles, with extra notes and relevant information in them, as gifts for the two people getting confirmed. Hopefully, these Bibles will guide them through the different writing styles and help them dig deeper into their relationship with God.