MAY 4, 2018

The Good Book

Dear Church,

How many Bibles do you have in your possession?  I’d set the over/under at two and take the over.  My guess is that the clear majority of us have at least two Bibles to our name and many other “family” Bibles or Children’s Bibles in our home.  Now, as you’re thinking of that Bible, where is it right now?  Is it in the same place it’s always been?  In the living room?  On your night stand?  Somewhere in the stack of books and papers near the kitchen?  I ask where it is because I’m wondering if the location of our Bible might tell us about our relationship with our Bible?  Is it in the same place it has always been because that is our routine of reading it, or is it in the same place its always been because we haven’t read it in who knows how long and that’s just its place?  And in what shape is your Bible?  Is the binder still firm?  Are the pages worn?  Is there any writing in the margins?

As Christians, we believe that the Bible is the Holy, inspired Word of God.  From a Reformed Christian perspective, this is indisputable.  It is God’s love letter to us.  It is the Book where every story whispers Jesus’ name.  It is the epic narrative of redemption.  I really don’t think many of us would argue with these statements.  Then why are our reading habits with this book so poor?  Next week I start teaching a Biblical Perspectives class at Trinity Christian College.  In preparation, I’m reading and re-reading all about Exegesis, Hermeneutics, Inherency, Infallibility, Authorship and Purpose.  And while all these topics are rich for discussion and important for interpretation, they all seem to be a secondary issue to the primary issue with the Bible – do we read it?  Go ahead and ask yourself honestly how often you read the Bible.

My guess is that when the issue of the Bible comes to us, our first reaction might be something like, “I know I should read my Bible more.”  I think it’s safe to say that we all would agree we’re constantly seeking direction and discernment in life.  And, if it’s safe to say that, we all would agree that we would like to align our lives in a godly way.  And, if it’s safe to say that, we all would agree that the Bible is the place where God speaks most clearly and most often.  Then why don’t we read it more?

Last week Sunday we had one of the coolest Sunday School experiences I think I’ve ever been a part of.  For the first time for us and for them, we had a “live” conversation with two of our missionaries, Chad and Dara Vanden Bosch.  Chad works with Audio Scriptures, recording, and then distributing Bibles in Mozambique.  Dara does Palliative Care for those individuals who are close to the end of life.  Through the wonders of technology, we saw them on the screen in the Chapel and talked to them in real-time.  It was pretty slick.

One of the powerful stories Chad shared was how they are currently waiting for a shipment of audio Bibles to come through customs.  He asked that we pray for this process and that these 2,000 audio Bibles costing $30 a piece would seamlessly make their way through customs and be ready for distribution.  He asked that we pray for discernment on where to distribute the Bibles.  He told us no matter where they go, they never have enough audio Bibles to meet the demand.  He shared that there are always people leaving feeling frustrated because they arrived too late and didn’t get an audio Bible.  In fact, he told us at their last distribution, a man walked over 60 miles because he heard there might be an audio Bible distribution in his native language.  Think about that.  It would be like walking from South Holland, IL to New Buffalo, MI all because you heard there just might be a Bible there that you could hear.  My friends, what are we doing with all the Bibles in our lives?  What level of interest or passion do we have about reading our Bibles?

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Matt