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Celebrate 2015: Your word lights my path

Author: Charles Whitehead

Celebrate 2015: Your word lights my path

Charles Whitehead explains why this Easter’s Celebrate conference is focusing on the Bible.

"Your Word is a Lamp to guide my Feet and a Light to my Path" -  Psalm 119:105 (NLT)

When considering the theme for the 2015 Celebrate family conference in Ilfracombe we felt the Lord wanted us to focus on the scriptures. The verse that came to us was Psalm 119 verse 105: "Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light to my path".

The Bible is a lamp to guide our feet and a light to our path, but sadly most Catholics do not have a biblical spirituality - we were never taught to study the Word of God deeply. 

At the conference this Easter week we will be encouraging everyone to spend more time with the Word of God.

Inspired scripture

Two facts make the Bible a unique book.

Firstly, in 2 Timothy 3:16 Paul states: "All Scripture is inspired by God..."  Although written by men, the Holy Spirit inspired every word of the Bible. This is why the Constitution on Divine Revelation at Vatican II, Dei Verbum, teaches us that: "Sacred scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit" (Dei Verbum section 9).

The second fact follows from this - we therefore understand that through the words of the Bible, God is revealing himself to us in very personal ways. As Dei Verbum section 2 expresses it: "It pleased God in his goodness and wisdom to reveal himself and to make known the mystery of his will".

The Word of God is where we encounter the very essence of God himself and through reading it we recognise that he is indeed the light for our path through life.

This Easter's Celebrate conference will unpack this truth, knowing that: "The Word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword......" (Hebrews 4:12)

God's library

The scriptures, after all, are made up of a rich variety of stories and letters inspired by the Holy Spirit, telling of the ways God revealed himself to nations and individuals and of his unfailing love for his people. 

This is because the Bible is not so much a book as a library. Every aspect of human emotion and behaviour can be found within its pages, as it records people's struggles to understand the mystery of God. 

However, it is often misquoted and frequently misunderstood, so if we are to know what God is saying to us through the scriptures we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of 2,000 years of the lived experience of the Church. 

The conference Leadership Team see Celebrate 2015 as a great opportunity to address this through Psalm 119 verse 105.

Celebrate speakers

In our morning sessions Fr. David Oakley, Rector of Oscott Seminary, will be speaking on Revelation through the Scriptures and Rev. Jim Graham, one of the best Bible teachers in the country, will be helping us with uncomplicated Bible Studies.

In the evenings David Wells, Ele Mumford and Ulf Ekman will all unpack our theme in practical ways, and our seminar programme contains more than 10 sessions focusing on the Scriptures. 

Our prayer is that at the end of the Conference people will go home to their parishes inspired, encouraged and challenged to read, study and think about the Word of God in new ways, applying it as a "guide to their feet and a light to their paths" as they journey on through life.

 

  • Charles Whitehead is chairman of Celebrate and of the CREW Trust. To help support the work of the CREW Trust and National Service Committee for Catholic Charismatic Renewal in England and Wales, please click here.

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