By Judy Brandon: CNJ religion columnist
Sunday School was in progress. The teacher, Mrs. Taylor, had a group of feisty 6 year olds for the Sunday School lesson.
Captured by the story of Daniel in the lion’s den, the children sat spellbound as Mrs. Taylor held up an artist’s version of Daniel surrounded by the fierce lions. The teacher wanted the little children to understand that God protected Daniel during that treacherous time.
At the close of the lesson, Mrs. Taylor explained that many other wonderful stories in the Bible help people today learn about God and his goodness. Mrs. Taylor was attempting to impress upon her class the importance of Bible reading. She asked her little students: “How many of you have a Bible at home?”
There were 10 to 12 in the class and with that they all raised their hands eager to contribute something they knew. “Oh I do…we do…we have one.” Another said” I have three!” Another little boy said: “We have red ones and white ones.” Then one little girl added: “We have a giant Bible at home by the television. My daddy stacks the DVDs on it and he keeps the TV times from the paper in the big Bible!”
In some homes, our Bibles are just other books, stacked in some place around the house, used on special occasions or only on Sundays. Yet, the Bible is God’s personal message to us. The Bible explains where we came from, why we are here and where we are going.
Because of the pace of our lives, we all find it difficult to give up time to stop and read the Bible during our day. Because of the demands on our time, we may be unwilling to take the necessary time to read the Bible as we should. Today people look to a variety of places to find answers for life. Some look to the stars, some seek palm readers and some even rely on the telephone to call people who advertise that they can know the direction of a person’s life just by listening to their voice on the telephone. Of course this costs so much a minute.
I suppose a giant family Bible looks great on the coffee table. But does that please God? Does a person really get to know God that way? It looks impressive for a whole family to walk into church carrying leather-bound Bibles with their names engraved in gold in the lower right-hand corner. Yet, does that please God’s heart?
Charles Spurgeon, a great theologian said, “A Bible that is coming apart is usually owned by someone who’s not.”
God answers when a woman during her busy day finds a few minutes to read God’s word. God is near when a man in the midst of a crowded day takes time to read God’s message to him.
We can find the time to do just about what we want to do. In the center of an ever-changing world, it is a great source of comfort to know that the God of all creation has given us a guide, the Bible, which can strengthen us in the hard times, comfort us through difficult experiences and direct us through the web of life.
Centuries ago the Lord gave instructions to the children of Israel. He knew they had to have more than physical food and that spiritual food was crucial. He declared “… men and women don’t live by bread only; we live by every word that comes from GOD’s mouth. (Deuteronomy 8:3-The Message)
Perhaps in these times, we might be missing the one source of nourishment that is the most satisfying — the Bible.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org