Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” ~Matthew 22:29
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. ~2 Timothy 3: 14-17
I recently attended a funeral service at a church with traditions that are different from those I am accustomed to. Some of the rituals puzzled me; some of them intrigued me; but one tradition truly stood out to me. I was drawn to the way the leaders showed reverence for the Scriptures, especially when a reading contained the words of Jesus.
When the Bible was held, it was handled with respect and care. When the words of scripture were read, I sensed the high value the reader gave to the passage he or she was reading. And before the Gospel message, which contained the words of Jesus, was read, a prayer of blessing was offered over the Bible and the reader. Then, before he began to read the sacred words, the reader offered his own silent prayer to God.
I was deeply moved by these acts of reverence, and I began to wonder if maybe I should have more respect and awe when I read from the Bible. Don’t misunderstand me. I value the scriptures and what they teach me. I value the connection the Bible gives me to my ancestors in the faith. I value the ways God speaks to me through the words in this Holy book. But I don’t know if I have put a high enough value on the Scriptures to cause me to feel the deep reverence I witnessed that day during the funeral service. I don’t mean reverence for the physical book itself. I’m referring to having reverance for the power of the words contained inside that book (or on your computer, or on your Bible App).
If I had the reverence I should have for God’s words in the Bible, I would spend more time reading it. I would recognize God’s power and presence when I hold the Bible in my hand. I would offer a prayer for guidance and blessing before I opened the Bible and begin to read. I would be filled with awe and wonder at this amazing gift I have been given that connects me to the Father.
This is something I am going to work on. How about you?