24 February 2012 Reykjavik, Iceland [tedNEWS] Reykjavik, Iceland provided the venue for a pilot outreach project which could serve as a new method within the most secular countries of the Trans-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventists (TED).
During the period 4-16 February 2012 the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Iceland organised an exhibition called ‘Bible 3D – Would the Bible fit in Harpa?’ Harpa is the capital’s most well-known Conference Centre where the church rented a 144 square metre space for the exhibition, and a second hall to hold relevant presentations on social issues and biblical themes, concerts, and the performance of the ‘Jesus Painter’ from the USA.
The idea for the exhibition came out of a long study of the Bible and the local culture, and inspiration also came from the following Bible verse: NKJ Galatians 3:1 ‘O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?’
The organising team in Iceland led by Janos Kovacs-Biro, TED Evangelism Director, decided that there must be a way to present Jesus Christ in a very compelling and relevant way which would make sense to the present generation. After studying the local culture the team realised that the Icelandic nation had survived many centuries by accepting and communicating biblical principles through participating in the evening family Bible reading time. The present generation tends to forget about this practice – so the exhibition needed to remind everyone about the time when their nation had been strong and how that strength had been achieved.
Today’s generation enjoys stories and wants to experience things, so this proved to be one of the strengths of the ‘Bible 3D’ exhibition. People could walk through the section on the story of redemption, experiencing a gospel presentation together with a comprehensive Bible-based story. At the first exhibition booth people were reminded of the Bible reading of their ancestors, then at subsequent booths they were introduced to the story of the Bible: Creation, the Fall, the promise of the Redeemer, Christ’s birth and His earthly life, Christ as Saviour, Christ crucified and resurrected, the offer of a personal relationship with Christ, ‘His Word is as good as His presence while we wait’, and the Restoration. In essence, the exhibition told the story of the Great Controversy.
The organisers had given prayerful thought to which topics were the most relevant issues facing society in Iceland, and during the evening presentations, the speakers delivered Bible messages which could help in the midst of the financial, relational and ecological crises.
Well known speakers were invited to address the following relevant issues: a philosopher talking on values; a police chief talking about crime prevention and the relevance of God’s law; a nutritionist addressing the need for a healthy lifestyle; pastors dealing with family relationships, children, grieving, and our responsibility while we wait for the return of Christ; an expert dealing with abuse; and a leader from the national rescue team talking about the importance of communication.
The music, organised by Gardar Cortes, director of the Opera in Reykjavik, was provided by the most well know choirs of the country. All the choirs gave a mini-concert of about five pieces – an excellent musical experience and a treat for the participants.
The Biblical messages were presented by Janos Kovacs-Biro, who addressed the most important Biblical principles for dealing with crises. For the last two evenings the ‘Jesus Painter’ painted two beautiful and compelling images of Jesus while Kovacs-Biro spoke, ensuring that the word of God made a lasting impact on the participants.
To our great surprise, 28 of the 32 slots for school visits were booked quickly and about 500 young people aged 10-15 visited the exhibition with their teachers. The feedback, both from the children and their teachers was very positive. ‘This was far better than I expected’ was the comment of a teacher who obviously had entered the exhibition with certain reservations. ‘This is the best exhibition I have ever seen’ said one child enjoying the various activities provided to illustrate the message about Jesus.
The 120-150 visitors who attended each evening were extremely happy being part of the ‘Bible 3D’ project. In response to the question attached to the title of the event: ‘Would the Bible fit in Harpa?’, we can praise God that the Bible and its story could not only fit into a building, but also into the lives of the participants.
tedNEWS Staff: Miroslav Pujic, director; Deana Stojkovic, editor
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