|Posted on January 14, 2013 at 2:40 AM|
National Bible Week 2013:
Challenging Filipinos to Proclaim God’s Word and Profess the Faith towards National Transformation
(PBS),It is customary for Filipinos at the beginning of each year to review what were accomplished and what we not. And as we recover from 2012 and its impact our lives and while bracing for the surprises of 2013, there is no better reason nor occasion than now to set our paths aright and ensure we are on the tamang landas, and tuwid na daan. This is best done with a manual on hand, one that spells out the short, medium and long-term development plans for us to undertake as individuals and as a nation. A plan that is based on the tried and tested, the unquestionable wisdom of the ages, and the ultimate standard to life and governance— God’s Word, the Bible.
After having tried so many alternative methods in the past, the call for us now is to heed God’s Word, to follow its statutes and obey it’s precepts if we are want to see true development and lasting change in our lives as a people and as a country. God’s Word has powerful transforming impact on the national life. In world history, as well as in our own, the Holy Bible is regarded as a powerful book. Containing timeless principles that when heeded and obeyed can change a nation for the better.
The Philippine Bible Society has endeavored to introduce people to the Bible’s transforming power through all means possible. One such means is the celebration of the National Bible Week (NBW). The country has been celebrating NBW and National Bible Sunday annually since former President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Presidential Proclamation No. 2242 on November 19, 1982 declaring that “it is fitting and proper that national attention be focused on the important role being played by reading and study of the Bible in molding the moral fiber of our society.” President Marcos originally declared the first Sunday of Advent and the last week of November every year as National Bible Sunday and National Bible Week.
The celebration in January came about during the term of President Corazon C. Aquino who issued Proclamation No. 44 in 1986 which transferred and made official the NBW celebration in the first month of the year. The proclamation was reinforced by President Fidel V. Ramos in PP 1067 which urged that “national attention be focused in the importance of reading and studying the Bible in molding the spiritual, moral, and social fiber of our citizenry.” As more and more people read and study the Bible, the universal truths found in its pages empower them to live with hope and courage in these days of despair and difficulty.
Since then, the nation has set aside one week every year to commemorate the importance of the Bible in nation building. Churches have come together in celebration through parades, motorcades and rallies proclaiming the yearly themes of the Bible Week. Sermons and homilies have focused on the Bible’s role in changing the people’s lives during the National Bible Sunday. Streamers and posters called attention to this significant event, as well as Scriptures that are distributed on the streets and other public places.
This year, the celebration is slated on January 21-27, 2013, with National Bible Sunday on the 27th. It is based on the theme :May They Be One: Proclaim the Word, Profess the Faith as inspired by Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,” (NAB) and 2 Timothy 4:2 "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching." (ESV)
The basic call is for every Filipino to honor the Bible by reading, studying and living its precepts. This challenge, however, has been stepped up and now calls on all Bible-believing Filipino to proclaim God’s Word and to profess their faith. These times call for boldness and determination, for concerted and deliberate action to draw our people back to God and his Word if we are to impact the whole nation for good.
There are many ways to celebrate and participate in honoring God’s Word:
· Plan a special National Bible Sunday Worship service with the sermon/homily focusing on the year’s NBW theme.
· Display the NBW poster in prominent areas (church bulletin boards, message posting area).
· Hold a Bible Quiz, poster-poster making contests, and other activities that will encourage people to read and engage with the Bible.
· Organize an inter-church NBW parade or motorcade in the community.
· Hold a Bible/Prayer rally in town plazas and parks.
· Initiate a celebration in LGUs through a Bible reading and distribution during their Monday flag-raising ceremonies (January 21, 2013).
· Begin a reading program i-Proclaim! in the community raise awareness for the scriptures.
· Print promotional materials in local community newsletters or program bulletins.
· Produce and display scripture streamers in overpasses and main streets.
· Distribute Scripture selections or booklets to prison inmates, hospital patients, public markets and transport terminals.
· Plan creative ways of communicating the importance of God’s Word like skits, dance or rapping competitions.
· Petition local officials to issue a barangay/town/city ordinance to institutionalize the yearly NBW celebration in your locale.
· Set up a Bible Fund to buy Bibles for your church or outreach communities.
PBS General Secretary Nora G. Lucero says “We encourage churches, LGUs, schools and organizations to help raise awareness on the importance of the Bible in people’s lives. Let us make our countrymen realize that it is a source of strength and wisdom and is not just applicable during times of trials but as a guiding light all our lives.”
No matter how you do it, the important thing is to celebrate God's Word, and to celebrate now! Together, let us rally our people to honor the Bible and support initiatives to get a copy into every Filipino home to see true national transformation. For more information on how you can be an advocate of the Bible Cause, visit www.bible.org.ph or call 526-7777.
NBW 2013 video Youtube link
MTBO Bible Run 2 video Youtube link
Ms. Hazel Salariosa-Alviz
Communications and Resource Devt. Manager
Philippine Bible Society
524-5337, 526-7777 loc 630, 633
The Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) is a pastoral commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) whose area of competence and service is the biblical-pastoral ministry in its five-fold ministries of:
Animating Biblical-Pastoral Formation
Organizing Bible Celebration
Promoting Bible Translation
Assisting Bible Production
Coordinating Bible Distribution
A Community of Disciples
nourished by the Word of God,
Witnessing to the Gospel,
and Striving to be a Church
that is poor and for the poor,
with Mary, Mother of the Word, as model.