Week 1: How did it go for you?

As you may have seen, my housegroup has been working with The Big Read materials a few weeks ahead of everyone else. Our core purpose is to encourage people to engage more with the Bible, and to join in community discussions around the Bible – whether that be online or offline. We can measure/monitor a certain amount about those who are partaking online, as they leave their ‘digital fingerprints‘ sprinkled wherever they contribute, but we know that many more are undertaking ‘The Big Read’ in physical format only (we know that SPCK have sold many more of Matthew than they did last year for Luke), including a large group in the North East, and the entire Blackburn Methodist circuit, and that is much harder to evaluate… so we’re really appreciate your comments as we look to see where this could be developed next.

Encouraging Feedback:

“Our house group met on Wednesday. We are a new group created for this project, it went really well. The first four questions stimulated plenty of discussion and the group seemed comfortable together. We did the steamed pudding questions, I think next week we will limit it to one question as we ran out of time to discuss the after dinner chocs. I’m not sure everyone has been doing the daily readings as the small effort of registering with twelve baskets seems to be a bit complicated for some of the technophobes (I know it’s easy but not always easy to convince others ) the ones who have registered are very positive about getting the daily emails, saying it is really making them read the passage.”

On the topic of ‘I am a human BEING, not a human DOING’

  • May it should not be “What would Jesus do?” (WWJD), but “How would Jesus be?” (HWJB) or “How might Jesus be?” (HMJB)
  • There is the age old dilemma of the evangelical work ethic:  “I must become the catalyst of change, an agent of God’s coming kingdom”.  We often fall into the trap of believing that God relies upon us and miss that God holds the very fabric of being together. I sometimes forget that I am also being transformed within my being.
  • Doing flows out of being. Being precedes doing.  I do the kinds of things I do because of the kind of person I am.  I am therefore I do.

Other Debates:

Thoughts on the Readings

  • Friday 11th March: “What strikes me about this is Tom Wright’s assessment of the way God through Jesus does business.  To the people of Israel, these fishermen were not the kingdom builders.  Israel was  mistaken in believing that those in power, those pure enough to be priests, and temple keepers would be the ones to deliver the ‘kingdom of heaven’.  They were all expecting power, status, military might to lead this revolution that they thought of when Jesus said the ‘kingdom of heaven’ is near.  WHOHOO!!!  Let’s go kick some butt was their rally cry.  The problem is that God desires for Israel to be different.  He wants them to spread light to the dark world.  NOT fight the darkness of oppression and foreign rule with darkness.  THe world’s way is not God’s way.  He makes that crystal clear over and over and over again.  He wants Israel to spread that light, combat the darkness by turning nearer to him.  And through Jesus, he shows them how.  By choosing ‘unlikely players’ to bring about the revolution.  Fisherman weren’t the marginalised, the outcast; but, they certainly weren’t the movers and shakers in the religious world.  All throughout Jesus’ ministry, he tries to teach us that we all have a place in His story.  We all have a part today in sharing the light.  And that is such an important thing to grasp!  To believe – that WE can share his light with others.”
  • March 18th: “having read Tom Wright’s commentary on verses 9-17 of Matthew 9 I was struck by his reminder that, though we still fast during Lent to focus on the sin and sorrow in the world and in our own lives, “we do so as a people whose basic mode of life is celebration”. So much of our lives as Christians consists of praying for and supporting people who are going through hard times, and that is as it should be, trying to love with compassion, but where does the celebration come in, on a day to day basis, not just at Easter and other special times? The bridegroom, Jesus, is always with us now, how can we show that in our daily lives? Wow, this is revolutionary stuff! :)
  • The forum is still quite quiet, come and have a go, it’s very simple! Other forms of electronic engagement are also appreciated – via Twitter, Facebook, blog comments, etc. – see Richard Littledale’s post.


  • Week 1 Video: 632 views on YouTube, 85 downloads on 12baskets, 108 views on Vimeo.
  • Week1 Materials: This continues to be one of the most visited pages on the Big Bible website (over 2000 visits in the past month), and 99 people downloaded the PDF from 12baskets.
  • Over 100 people are receiving the daily newsletter, and the numbers increase every day.
  • It will be interesting to see if numbers continue to visit… although we’d like to encourage ‘bigger conversations’ in ‘real time’, the material maintains longer-term relevancy.

So…. are you ready for Week 2?

P.S. Lemon & Sugar ‘won‘ in the favourite pancake flavour the previous week!

About drbexl

Life Explorer, academia/learning, Christian, cultural history, WW2 posters: Keep Calm & Carry On, digital world, coach. Twitter: @drbexl @digitalfprint, @ww2poster @bigbible