In 1539, Miles Coverdale supervised the printing of the Great Bible. So ornate and elegant, these copies were chained to all church pulpits in England. The popularity grew around this Bible where many people would gather around the pulpits eager to hear more from God’s Word. In fact, the Bible became so popular among the people; regulations were established to limit the discussion among the people.
You read this and think to yourself, “These are the people that started our country”. They were those that left the oppression of the Church of England to sail to the New World. There were people that clung to their Bible because it was their prize possession.
Not today, the Bible is not the prize possession in this country. Working in a church, many Bibles that are left on Sunday are not missed until the pastor asks the congregation to turn to a passage and they realize they left their Bible on the coat rack by the gym last week. Some Bibles end up in a “Bible graveyard” to be used in the youth room to give to visitors who didn’t bring a Bible.
Where is the eagerness of our people to read God’s Word like we saw in the late 1500’s where laws were passed to limit the discussion of God’s Word? It wasn’t like today’s restriction laws that are passed for reasons of tolerance and the risk of offending other religions. If the Ten Commandments in a classroom had to be taken down because the kids were discussing it too much, it would be one thing. Or if a Bible needed to be taken out of a library because people spent too much time reading it, I wouldn’t be as upset.
I don’t mean for this illustration to turn into what sounds like an email forward petition. But are you upset this country is taking away our Scriptures from public places? Are you ashamed that we don’t think of our Bibles as our prize possessions? Will we ever get back to discussing God’s Word so much that the government will consider restricting us?
So this Thanksgiving Day, thank God for His Holy Word. And here’s a thought: READ IT AND DISCUSS IT TOO!