Serving soldier with the Bible he was given upon joining the Army. Since then, the appearance of these Bibles has changed. © SASRA
In John 13:14-15 Jesus says, after washing the feet of His disciples, ‘If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. ’
Whether it’s helping run a coffee morning, setting up for an event, teaching a lesson, staying late to talk with someone who needs it, driving someone to the train station or airport, Scripture Readers are always ready to provide practical support. In keeping with their job title, Scripture Readers also delight in sharing the scriptures and helping service personnel to explore the Christian faith. Many use materials such as Christianity Explored or create similar resources.
Scripture Reader Tiaan de Klerk designed a two-week course and has been running it several times a year at MOD Lyneham. This course, Faith or Fake, is designed for both Christians and non-Christians. It provides an overview of the Christian faith from creation to consummation and tackles some of the big questions of faith in doctrines like atonement and justification.
This makes the course accessible to both newer Christians and to those who are curious about Christianity.
Attendees of the Faith or Fake sessions get to hear from a good mix of speakers, watch videos and listen to Christian soldiers answering questions like, ‘What is sanctification and how have I seen it in my life?’ or ‘What is repentance and how have I experienced it?’ And of course, the generous supply of sausage rolls makes these evenings even more appealing.
ASR Patrick Steen gives a brief presentation at the Faith or Fake course at MOD Lyneham. © SASRA
This course and others like it are important events for Scripture Readers. They provide an opportunity for soldiers to explore faith, belief and military core values. The Christian faith is a rich part of this country’s heritage, and arguably that heritage has shaped the Army to be what it is today, making it important for soldiers today to understand this heritage. A course such as Faith or Fake also provides Christians on camp with an opportunity to share their faith with their fellow soldiers and allows a Scripture Reader to serve the camp and Chaplaincy team with well-produced faith materials for soldiers. In this and everything else Scripture Readers remain ready to serve, not because they are Scripture Readers, but simply because they are followers of Christ.
‘For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45).