Last year our small group at church decided to gather up some money, purchase some Bibles, and give them out to children who visited our church. Oh and also to any member's children who didn't have a Bible--just in case there were any.
So we bought the Bibles. Twenty "real" Bibles and ten picture Bibles for the very young. Then, we set about figuring out how to best distribute them and to whom.
We found out a little girl in our new small group didn't have a Bible. Well, she had a picture Bible but she did not have a real Bible of her own. So this morning I happily presented her with her own Bible. She just beamed. Oh she was so proud!! Her family is going through hard times right now and it felt good to be able to provide this need for them.
Little Bit moved up last Sunday to the 1st and 2nd grade class. Those kids are learning to read/are readers so they need real Bibles now. I had to get one from our shelf for Little Bit last week. Time to stop carrying the picture Bible.
So, I decided to go into her class and ask if there were any other children who needed their own Bible. No fewer than 7 hands went up. There were 11 kids in the room. Oh dear.
I was so upset by this. Mostly, these children's families are new-ish to our church or new-ish to church at all. I suppose it's not unheard of that no one has thought to buy them a Bible yet. It's shocking to me...but I'm sure it's very common. Some of them are not new at all. That was the most concerning of all.
I'm happy to say that next week ALL the children in that class will have their own Bible. But I wondered today why those parents had not gotten a Bible for their children yet. I wonder every week why so many adults do not carry a Bible to church.
Do we value God's word? Do we know what Christians in other countries would do to get their hands on one page of scripture? Most of the students S has in World Bible school do not have their own Bible. (The lessons have all the scripture included so they can complete the lessons without a Bible.) In fact, we've mailed a Bible to one of our students in Africa. Good grief, they can be had from Wal-Mart for $5.
But the scriptures are on the screen at church or printed in the program. You don't really have to carry one to church. You can get by without it. Besides, if someone doesn't have a Bible with them we have them in the seats and extras in the classrooms. That way you don't have to lug it around, right?
So what about Monday through Saturday? How many folks leave their Bible in their car all week? I've been guilty, I'll admit it. Are we encouraging the study of God's word? The reading of God's word?
Do we realize that it is alive? That it changes lives? That God has preserved it for over 2,000 years? That we are honored to own a copy in our language free from the fear that we'll be arrested?
Are we reading it? Studying it? Appreciating it? Obeying it? How can you please God unless you know what He wants from you? How can you know unless you read?
How will our children turn out if they do not even OWN a Bible, much less read it, study it, and obey it?
I think statistics have already answered that.
How can we help others around us value God's word?