Happy New Year! This is the time of year that many of us look at our lives, consider our goals and make an ambitious plan for a happy and productive year. We used to have a pastor whose first sermon almost every year was on the same topic, “Read your Bible”. It’s a great topic, one I need to hear at least once a year, and one that never grows old. Well I don’t know what topic the good Lord is urging for this Sunday but as luck would have it, my undated devotional gave me the same reminder recently.
As I thought about the little lesson I read, and remembered those annual sermons, I again realized how blessed I am just to be able to read my Bible. Yes, we live in a free country where our Bibles are within arm’s reach and visible for anyone to see (you can say “Praise The Lord” here). And all books – including Bibles – are readily available to us (Amen and Hallelujah!). Yet the most amazing fact of all is that according to “Our World in Data”, 83% of the world’s population can read!
Now I’ve marveled here before about the wealth of books that we enjoy. Many mountain homes historically were lucky to have just the one book (a Bible) and luckier still to have someone in the home that could actually read from it. Learning to read was first and foremost a skill to allow you to read God’s Holy Word.
Do you know the history of Bible translations? An untold number of brave men and women gave their very lives trying to get the Bible printed in English. In the 15th century the church felt the common man was either unable to read it with understanding, or maybe even undeserving of it. Of course there are still struggles to get scripture translated into foreign languages. The Christian Post reported here in 2015 that 57% of the world’s languages still do not have a Bible translation. That kind of seems unbelievable to us, doesn’t it?
So we have the books and we have the skills – are we using them? This would be a great time to start.