This Sunday morning, the church is presenting our third graders with a Bible. Each year, when we give Bibles to these young people, I write a note to each one of them. I always share the same message, paraphrasing a passage from Psalm 119. The verse reads, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (vs. 105). Among other things, I write, “May this Bible be to you a lamp to your feet and a light for your journey.”
There are two types of “words” that are referenced in the Bible. There is the “Word,” with a capital “W.” This, of course is Jesus Christ, the logos, the pre-existent Christ who was with the Father at the very beginning of everything. In the Gospel of John we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (1:1 – 2). This is the Word we worship, the Word to whom we commit our lives, the Word we promise to follow, the Word who forgives, the Word who redeems and the Word through whom we find abundant and eternal life.
The other “word” that is spoken of in the Bible is the “word,” with a lowercase “w.” This is the word we refer to when we speak of the Bible. In its earliest stages, it referred to the Torah or “the Law.” But, today, it refers to the entire Bible; the Law, the Prophets, the Psalms, the Wisdom Literature, the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Letters of Peter, the Letters of Paul, the Letters of James, the Revelation and so on. This word was never intended to be worshiped. Rather, this word was intended to point to the Word. It was intended to shed light and help us as we walk through each day and journey through life.
I hope you will hold each of these third graders in your prayers. There is such wisdom and insight in the Bible. But that wisdom and insight doesn’t just happen by osmosis. It will happen only as these young people open the Bibles and read them. Pray that they will not put them on the shelf, but that these Bibles will become a lamp and a light and that through reading the word, they will come to know the living Word.
See you Sunday, if not before. Until then…