We had such a wonderful time in church this past Sunday. The worship service was electric and the presence of God was so evident, following which was an exciting time of corporate prayer around the altar. The pastor’s message challenged us to greater depths of spiritual growth. Our time of fellowship together was warm and friendly. All in all, it was a great Sunday morning, coming together as a church family and spending time with our Saviour.
But one moment stood out to me more than all the rest. My husband and I were sitting beside a couple we have come to know and love who are in their 70’s. As we were all settling in for the pastor’s sermon, we reached for our hand held devices to follow along and they reached for their bibles. The image struck me so profoundly.
Actual bibles; the leather bound book type! With worn pages and old bulletins and scrap notes and pressed flowers and handwritten sermon quotes and underlined passages of scripture and folded tissues for altar time and family trees and spiritual milestone records and…and…and! These bibles weren’t just bibles. They were a physical record of a spiritual journey, one held very dear by their owners.
I watched how, both members of this beautiful couple gently picked up their cherished scriptures and gingerly turned the pages so as to protect their delicate nature. He stopped a few times, along the way to the desired passage, and hovered over something written or inserted that caught his attention. A smile quietly came to his face as he secretly recalled something of worth to him…perhaps a moment with his Saviour from his quiet times in the Word. Once they arrived at the passage the pastor was preaching from, they looked at each other with a knowing smile, revealing their joint familiarity with the text. It was an absolute joy to watch them. So refreshing. Compete reverence, respect and humility for the Word of God.
These are the bibles I remember growing up seeing in the church by pretty much everyone who attended. These are the bibles my grandparents poured over as they spent time with Jesus praying for their children and grandchildren. These are the bibles my parents own as they chart the spiritual course of their lives. This is the bible I own and keep at my bedside. The bible I have spent my lifetime filling with highlighted passages, sermon quotes, written answers to prayers, fun Christian memes and the sort. These are the bibles of strong Christian heritage that can be passed down through the generations.
So, why do I keep it at home? Why don’t I bring it each week, as we gather as a church family to read God’s Word? Why don’t I humbly open it in sight of those new in the faith or struggling in their walk or in front of young children so they can see just how rich a walk with Christ and His Word can be?
Simply put, because technology is easy and convenient. Now, I am all for technology and I think it’s great that the bible can now be accessible anywhere at anytime by anyone, in any version or language! But, technology just doesn’t hold the same depth of connection when we change our devices every six months, every year, every two years! We just can’t store the same kind of additional information on a hand held device.
You know, when your son writes you a note expressing how he felt the Holy Spirit help him make a good decision at school, or when you receive the Sunday School Mother’s Day Card. Or when a prayer sister sends you a note of encouragement in your mailbox. Or when God speaks a word to you in the middle of the night and you have to record it in the flap of your bible.
A well-used bible speaks volumes to those around you! A well-used bible makes it easy to find scriptures quickly when called upon by the needs of others! A well-used bible is truly a beautiful thing!