About 100 kids attended a Holiday Bible Club recently. It was held by a Presbyterian Church located in the heart of Rathcoole. We were delighted to have provided their leader, Campbell Mulvenny, with the resources he needed to give each of these children their very own Bible.
When I was informed that I would be attending the ceremony in Erbil, Iraq, where the Bible would be presented to the Kurdish people, I had a twofold response: 1. Wow, that sounds exciting! and, 2. Wow, that sounds dangerous!
Paul tells us that The Holy Scriptures are “able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” He goes on to explain that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
What you would never guess by looking at Judy is that she’s been to jail. Multiple times. In fact, for the past five years, she’s been going regularly – to share God’s Word with female inmates through a ministry called Victory Walk.
They probably came from various parts of the city – the Upper Eastside, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx… Some may have walked. Others took carriages or rode horses. How they got to the Manhattan home of Theodorus Van Wyck on that December evening in 1809 isn’t clear. What is clear is that they were concerned about their city. They saw something strange happening: a seemingly endless and rapidly swelling stream of immigrants flooding into America from all over the world in search of hope and a new life.
The Bible has historically been important to forming culture and organizing societies in liberty, justice, and human rights. Even in our own history – America was founded on God’s Word. And when we look back to Europe, we see great cathedrals inscribed with Scripture verses and biblical artwork. Unfortunately, this may seem ironic because now, much of our society considers the Bible to be irrelevant. Even among Christians, it is often revered but not consulted. Many respect it, but don’t read it.
In Psalm 142, the psalmist writes: “Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.” Though the writer probably wasn’t in an actual prison, he or she manages to convey a sense of what it’s like to be incarcerated. Perhaps …