I read of a priest who had an unusual flair for the dramatic. One Sunday morning, he was preaching a sermon. He said, “If you don’t read the Scriptures you may as well not even have them.” Then he started in the beginning of the Bible, did a brief summary of Genesis, and asked, “How many of you have read this book in the past year?” In the congregation of more than a thousand not a single hand was raised.
He then gathered up the pages, ripped them out, and threw them away. He proceeded to do exactly the same thing through the entire Bible, book by book. When he finished, he was holding only the back cover, and all the pages of the Scripture were scattered on the floor around him. There were those in the congregation who felt indignation over the ‘abuse’ of God’s Word. But the question arises – who is the real abuser of the Scriptures? Is it the priest who in striking fashion tries to impress upon the people the importance of reading God’s message? Or rather is it the person who owns a Bible, and leaves it lying on a shelf day after day, untouched, opened, and unread?
In his epistle, St. James writes that it’s like looking in a mirror. You can see things revealed. If all you have found in Scriptures is an account of ancient history, then you have missed it. The Scriptures are more than a history book. They are a living book. Herein is the truth about God, the truth about life, the truth about you and me. Daniel Webster once wrote, “I know the Bible to be God’s book because when I read it, it finds me out like no other book.”
Many remember seeing the poster of Uncle Sam with his high hat, his gray beard, his piercing eyes, and his pointing finger. Underneath were the words, “I want you.” It was a compelling poster! And the thing most captivating about it was that it was so painted that you could not escape the piercing eyes or the pointing finger. Stand off to one side, the eyes seemed to be looking at you and the finger seemed to be pointing right at you.
I find the Scriptures to be somewhat like that. Whenever I open them, here is God looking at me; here is God pointing at me; here is God talking to me, keeping me reminded of those all-important things that I am most inclined to forget.
If you have not picked up the Scriptures recently or if you have never picked them up, please consider doing so today. This is the time we need to find the Jesus who speaks to us through the Scriptures. You will be very surprised what you will discover. It is open to all, young and old, male and female.
The Scriptures are for reading. This is fundamental. Abe Lincoln wrote, “Take upon reason all of the Bible you can. The rest take upon faith, and you will live and be a better person.”