Points to Ponder: The Letter From Home
Points to Ponder
The Letter From Home
I love old photos and letters written by people from long ago. A visit to Monticello in Virginia to see the writings of Thomas Jefferson and walk the floors he had walked is fascinating. All of these historical things are like letters or messages from people of the past to us. My bicycle explorations through Virginia have taught me more about some of our presidents and the way things were in our nation's earlier days than any of my school textbooks. When I go to the source, I get the message from the source.
Our Bible is a collection of 66 messages, or books, from the Source of the Truth. We call it the Word of God. In some churches, people stand when the Gospel is read. In others, they stand for all Scripture readings. Various traditions have various ways of showing respect and reverence, and of identifying this Book as the Word of God. Yet I wonder why, when the Scriptures are read, few open their Bibles to follow along. People used to bring their Bibles to church. (In the 19th century they carried their own hymnals too.) Some still do bring their own Bibles, but in many churches, if not most, they are a minority. We say it is the Word of God, but we behave as if it's not. Perhaps we need to reconsider our own perspective on this Book.
Let's say you are far from home - thousands of miles. For years you have not seen a particular loved one from your hometown. Once in a great while a letter arrives, and that's the only contact you have with your family or that special someone. All you have of them is a handful of letters. Would you treasure them? Yes. Would you read them again and again, almost as if you would like to crawl into the page. Yes. Why are these few letters so special? They are a contact point.
The point of a pen that touched the paper was held in the hand you have longed to touch. And that hand was only several inches away from the heart or face of the one you miss and so want to see. And while that letter was being written, that piece of paper was surrounded by all the things of home. And it was folded by the hand of the one who wrote it. You want to be there. And that page and that ink was from there. And if you traced it back - from the paper, to the ink, to the pen, to the hand that held it, to the one holding the pen - that's as close as you can get to where you want to be.
The Bible is a letter from God. Getting into His Word is to seek the Hand of the Writer, to want in your heart to be home. The Gospel says this:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of all men... And the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us..." (John 1:1-4, 14a)
He came here personally so that we might find the way home. All of the Word of God, the Bible, His letter to us, points to Jesus Christ. And though we will be here on earth far away, and perhaps for quite some time from our true home, we have this Letter.
Some people don't read it because they claim they can't understand it. In the conventional sense of understanding, they are right. It's only through knowing the Writer that we can come to understand the contents of His Letter. If you really want to know Him, He will help you read it. He will help you hear His message. (Romans 10:14, 17)
I once read a true story about a slave woman who believed in God and wanted to read the Bible. In those days, slaves were not taught to read, but God somehow made it possible that, though she was illiterate all her life, she could read and understand the Bible. The details of this account escape me, but the truth is clear: With God all things are possible. And our God went as far as dying on a cross to help us find Him. He helped a slave to read His Word. And He will help you... if you really want to know (See Acts 17:27). It's your move.
Pastor Whitmore is not affiliated with Picket News, nor does he submit material directly to our publication. We regularly reprint interesting articles found at his public web site, www.fumcl.org, and encourage all readers to visit for similar material.