It has now been two months in this new venture. And I admit with shame that I have neglected much of my attendance upon the things of God in this time. I have attended worship faithfully (usually twice a Lord’s Day), but have not spent the time I need in God’s Word.
In an attempt to correct that, I brought my old Bible (as opposed to the one I bought to preach from for the rest of my pastoral career…which appears to have been the case) to keep on the shelf in my office. Today I opened it and laid it upon my desk. [The picture is from my dumbphone…please forgive the lack of clarity.] It is a New Geneva Study Bible I bought when I lived in Houston (which makes it at least 13 years old), covered in book tape and marked up.
But two things happened.
Some time ago (I don’t remember when), a friend and co-laborer in God’s field, Pastor Laurence Windham, wrote about the notes he had stuck in his books. When he received notes of appreciation from people he would tuck them in books on his shelf. Then, when he pulled down the book, he would be reminded of God’s goodness as he had experienced it in that relationship. [I am led to wonder if there were other notes he put in the books he didn’t like or was less likely to pull down…]
Over my time in my pulpit in New Mexico I did that…in this old Bible. So…as I laid it open on my desk…memories came…falling out. Notes of encouragement and appreciation from the past. Memories from family (the one in the picture) and parishioners…tangible representations of the goodness of God to me and through me.
The second thing was where it fell open. The note from my family was placed at Psalm 92…words I needed to hear to remind me of my neglect…of the sovereign majesty of Yahweh, the Lord God Almighty…and of the absolute victory of Jesus Christ.
As one former pastor once said to me…”I knew all that.” Nevertheless, something I needed to ‘hear.’
Rejoicing in the Lord…because we can.