If I could stand up on a soap box and say one thing to the world it would be this: Don’t despise your birthright! Read your Bible; learn about the faith of those who have walked before you. If you live in America, freedom of religion is your birthright! Access to public education and the Bible is your birthright! Many people fought and died to give it you!!! Feeling filled with gratitude this Memorial Day weekend!
The Bible is the best book ever written, filled with truth about what it means to be human, about relationships, about life together. The characters and their struggles are timeless. The words of the Bible resonate with the hearts and souls of so many; they easily leap into song! Wisdom and stories from the Bible have informed literature, music, art, and history to such an extent that it is simply not possible to be a fully literate person without some knowledge of the Bible. More than any other book, it is part of our shared human experience. It astonishes me that the Bible finds itself on a list of the top ten most challenged books! The Bible is treasure! I can see how promoting a specific reading or interpretation of the Bible is problematic–that’s why there are so many different churches. But if you read Moby Dick in school, for example, it simply makes sense to talk freely about the Biblical story of Ishmael. Melville assumed his readers ALL knew the Bible, something once taken for granted.
Time spent in the Bible is always well-spent. So break open the book!!! Do whatever you need to bring it to life for you. Grab study materials if you prefer or bust open a box of colored pencils and grab some stickers or washi tape! No matter what, you will be a richer, better, more educated person for the effort, and you never know, you just might encounter the God of Jacob. (Just don’t be like Esau!)
Of the many Bibles I have, my journaling Bible has become my favorite. After a year of using it as an art journal and dragging it all over the place, it is still in great shape! I’ve been so pleased with both the translation and also the construction of the Bible itself. I love the wide margins and being able to integrate my notes and doodles with the text. The Bible comes with a number of different options for the cover, but any of the ESV single column journaling Bibles from Crossway are great choices. The cover may vary, but the inside remains the same.
Many people shy away from religion because of differences of opinion. I find a lot of hope in the knowledge that Ishmael and Isaac were able to put aside their differences to honor their father Abraham at his death. May we all do the same, especially the many around the world who trace our spiritual ancestry to Abraham and Sarah. This is my prayer for peace and also for freedom on this Memorial Day weekend!