Aidan, Cuthbert, Hilda, Bede, Wilfrid…. There is quite a list of saints whose lives strongly influenced the development of the Christian faith in this region and way beyond. The Venerable Bede, famous resident of Jarrow, did much to influence thinking about nature and science, as well as theology and history.
What is stunning about Bede is that he barely travelled at all. He was moved between the monasteries at Jarrow and Monkwearmouth, depending on the needs of the community. He never got to Rome or to visit any of the great seats of academic learning. He was content to be where he was and do what he was called to do in that place. Bede’s World is definitely worth a visit if you would like to know more….
Recently, I led a workshop called ”Bible Basics”. It was aimed at those of us who don’t know our bibles well at all, and may even find scripture quite intimidating. We started the day playing “Bible Snap”, just to get our heads around the names of the many different names of the books in the Bible.
By the end of the afternoon, people who had been nervous about the Bible at the beginning of the day were finding their way around concordances, commentaries and dictionaries to help them to understand and interpret a passage of scripture. It was fabulous!
The famous saints of the North East, and around the world were ordinary people who did extraordinary things. None of them were born knowing all there is to know about God, or prayer, or scripture. Every single one of them had to spend time learning, studying, questioning and listening to God.
We are no different. We are not going to go deeper in prayer, or become more knowledgeable about the Bible unless we put the time and effort in. God is always there, waiting to touch us, guide us, love us. We just need to be willing to give God some time in our lives. Bible Snap anyone?