A marriage made in heaven?
Today we are playing host here at Teddington Baptist Church to the People’s Bible. All morning there have been a steady stream of people, from pensioners to mums with babes in arms, taking their places at the writing pods and making their mark in history. Some people have taken the day off work to travel here specially and others have come along during their lunch hour, and we’ve already had one visitor from a local school where parents have been given permission to take their children out of classes for this historic opportunity.
Look along the faces in the picture above and they tell their own story. Whilst some are drawn in by the technology and others are reticent about it – all are caught with a real sense of participation – being part of something so much bigger than themselves. When the bluetooth pen buzzes in your hand to say that your verses have been sent, there is a frisson of excitement. This is redoubled a few minutes later when your verses in your handwriting appear on the People’s Bible website.
So is it about technology, or Bible, or something else altogether? I believe it is above all about identity and participation. The 10,000 or more scribes of the People’s Bible so far feel that they have rendered historic words in their own handwriting, and thereby become part of the story. This combination of human welcome and smart technology is conspiring to tell people what we have been trying to tell them since before the King James Bible was written – you are part of the story.