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01 August 2023

Translating the text.

For the word of God is alive and active. Hebrews 4:12

A friend is struggling to get her husband to adapt to the (relatively) new recycling system. She is afraid they will have to pay a fine when he puts landfill material in the recycling bin or potentially recyclable material in the landfill bin. On collection day, she has pulled out black bin bags of rubbish of uncertain provenance, where, of course, they split open on the footpath, and she has to clean them up.

Understandably, she is furious. She says she is going down to the recycling depot to get one of the big sticker posters they originally had on the bins and is going to staple it on the wall above the bins. Then she is going to deliver the whole family a lecture.

But I wonder if that will work. It seems to me a bit like putting a bible on the table in front of a toddler and saying 'There you are. Be a Christian. Or else.'

Maybe it would be easier if the instructions were translated in a day-to-day practical way: eg 'Can you pop this bottle in the glass bin please on your way past?' 'What do y

ou think: shall we put this pizza box in the landfill or the recycling? What do the instructions say?' 'I am taking the recycling bin down to the street for collection. Do you have any paper in your bin that needs to go in?' 'Can you hold this compost bin up for a moment while I scoop out this lovely rich new soil for the garden from the bottom?'

Recycling and the Word have this, at least, in common: they are both something we learn through sharing, require regular practice and may need developing new habits. We can do that through the patient encouragement of our friends and family.

Perhaps, after July Bible Reading Month is done, we can continue to make the Word living and active in our lives by 'translating the text into action': developing our regular reading habit and sharing the joy with friends and family. Plus: don't forget to put the bin(s) out Sunday nights!


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