When we’re trying to get to know someone that we like, one of the first things that we have to do, is to try and find out a little about them. We find out where they’re from, what they do and gradually we begin to form a picture of them. No one is just a person in an empty space. To know them we need to spend time with them too.
A friend of mine was waiting for a ride to work and she was offered a ride by another guy from work that she had seen a few times. Before he dropped her off he had asked her out on a date. But then she wanted to find out a little more about him, to check him out, as it were. She needed a picture of him to see what kind of person he was.
The Lord also wants us to get to know him just as we would anyone else and so He has given us the Scriptures, the Bible, so that we can get to know him, check him out, see what kind of a God he is.
One of the best descriptions I heard of the Bible is to say that it’s a collection of love letters from God to us personally. They are addressed to us personally and they teach us who God is and how God relates to us. It gives us a picture of what God is like in a way that we can understand.
The Word of God is sacred to us because it teaches us the truth, which everyone is looking and searching for, even unknown to themselves. Different cults and movements like the New Age movement, offer us ‘half-truths’, but these are no good. There is only one truth and the Bible teaches the truth, because it comes from God. The Word of God is so important that we give the whole first half of the mass over to it, with three readings and then the few minutes I spend speaking, are supposed to be based on the readings. That is how important we consider the word of God.
In the Eastern Catholic Church, they have two tabernacles, one for the Eucharist, because it is the living Jesus in the form of bread, but they also have one for the Scriptures, because it is the living Word.
We consider it a privilege to be able to receive Jesus in Holy Communion and so it is. We even fast for an hour before receiving Holy Communion to show our respect for who it is we are receiving. It is also a privilege for us to hear the word of God, even though we probably don’t look at it like this. I think something we need to continually ask ourselves is ‘Do I believe that this really is the Word of God?’ If we believe it is, then it should be something we continually turn to. Of all the things we listen to each day—TV and radio programs, newspapers, thousands of commercials—what could possibly be more important to be filled with than God’s own word?
In Russia during Communism, it was illegal to have a Bible of any kind. And young men and women used to travel long distances to be able to spend time learning off parts of the Bible, so that they could go back to their own people and bring the Word of God to them. Here we have it handed to us on a plate, but a lot of the time we just consider it ‘boring’. Perhaps it’s not the word of God that needs to change, but rather the way we look at it.
Do you have a Bible in your own homes, and if so do you ever look at it? God will speak to you through it, but He can’t do this unless you read it. The Bible teaches us the truth and God wants us to have this truth, but He’s not going to ‘shove it down our throats’, it is an invitation.
In the Gospel it says the disciples hearts’ burned within them when Jesus explained how the Scriptures all pointed to him and spoke about him. This is because the Word of God is something alive that can have a profound effect on us. So if you want to know a little more about the God you believe in, and about what he has to say to you, read his letters to you, especially the New Testament and he will speak to you, just as he spoke to those disciples along the road.
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way
and opened the Scriptures to us?”