Thought for the Week

A GROUP of my family and friends were among the packed audience at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen last Saturday for the stage production of the hit film ‘Dirty Dancing’.

Apparently, it has proved to be the fastest selling and highest grossing show in the theatre’s history. I booked the tickets over 15 months ago and even then seats were limited. Such is the popularity of the show that tickets are now few and far between. The original film, released in 1987, the year I was born, has captivated audiences of all ages ever since including many who might not have been interested in dance but who came away from the movie impressed with both the lyrics and the dancing.

No-one knows for sure how many copies of the Bible have been printed or distributed but without doubt its numbers far exceed any other book. I came across a fascinating quote from The Times from 1996: “Forget modern British novelists and TV tie-ins, the Bible is the best-selling book every year. If sales of the Bible were included in best-seller lists, it would be a rare week when anything else would achieve a look in. It is wonderful, weird ... that in this godless age ... this one book should go on selling, every month.”

Like ‘Dirty Dancing’ a good number of people who have dipped into the Bible reluctantly have discovered it to be far more captivating than they would ever have imagined. True, there are some parts that are a bit of a struggle but start with the gospels and you have true life encounters with Jesus – the real person not the fairy story cardboard cut-out. The Bible also touches our real life experiences and introduces us not just to the Jesus of history but to a living Lord who cares for us and the world in which we live.

You may struggle to get a ticket for the current tour of Dirty Dancing but there are plenty of copies of the Bible around, in a version to suit your tastes. Don’t be put off thinking “it’s not my kind of book” – give it a go and perhaps, like many others before you, you will be able to say (as the song puts it) “I’ve had the time of my life.”

Gavin A McLean

Montrose Old & St Andrew’s Church