Does Your Bible Reflect Your Faith?
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"Blessed is the one ... whose delight is in the law of the Lord, ..."
Pastor Kevin is a friend of mine from the Bloomfield United Methodist Church. He sends me his mid-week messages by e-mail. One week he wrote:
“On Saturday a dear member of our church died, Pat Miller. She was 84 years old and has been a very faithful, quiet, humble servant of our church. I have been preparing her funeral service and am reading through her Bible. She kept a wealth of information in her Bible. It’s full of handwritten prayers, poems, and a list of monthly scripture readings that she read and checked off each morning.”
Pastor Kevin quoted one of Pat’s handwritten prayers that he found in her Bible: “The purpose of the church is simple: to worship the One True God as revealed in the Bible, to lift up His Son Jesus, and to show the love of God to those who come to worship with us. I pray for the churches that they may increase in membership and that the members may be an instrument of your love. Amen.”
Without a doubt, Pat’s Bible is a reflection of her spiritual life: a well-used Bible full of personal notes of reflection, a record of her daily reading of God’s Word, and prayers for her church and others.
Pastor Kevin’s story reminded me of a woman I sat next to occasionally in church nearly 40 years ago, at a time when I was not serious about my faith. Her name was Louise. She always carried her Bible with her to church. (I never carried a Bible. Sometimes I borrowed one from the pew.) She always turned to the passages when they were read in the service. (I didn’t bother with that.) She knew where all those passages were without looking at the index! (I was impressed.) And she didn’t hesitate to write in her Bible. (I was taught never to write in books, especially the Bible.)
Louise and her Bible — it’s an indelible image in my mind. It was black, leather-bound, larger than most Bibles, King James Version. When Louise put on her reading glasses and leafed through the pages to find a Scripture, it was obvious she had been there many times before. Her Bible was tattered and dog-eared, with passages underlined or circled, and tiny notes written in the margins in various colors and shades. Bookmarks and little scraps of paper stuck out here and there. In short, her Bible was well-used, and I could see the results in her Christian walk.
I’ll be honest with you. I was envious of Louise, her Bible, and her faith. I wanted what she had without spending the time. God uses that image of Louise like a poke in the ribs sometimes. He is saying: “Spend more time in the Word!”
When it comes time for Louise’s funeral, her pastor could preach a great sermon on her tattered Bible and the notations found within its pages. She lived her life based on the Word of God.
How about you? What does your Bible say about you? When it comes time for your funeral, could your pastor deliver a eulogy based on what is found in your Bible?
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for Christian examples like Pat and Louise, whose lives reflected their Devotion to You and Your Word. Help us remember: A Bible that is falling apart probably belongs to someone who isn’t. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Excerpt from God in the Midst of Grief, Copyright © 2011 by Diane Pearson, used with permission.
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