Terry R. Baughman
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
It has become an annual rite, an opportunity for commercialism, the season for all the students to return to school. There are the necessary school supplies, new uniforms or school clothes, shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes and snacks to buy before the big event of sending the kids out for their first day of classes. It requires juggling the budgets, an adjustment of sleep schedules, and a new routine for early morning household activities. It’s Back to School time!
In the past it was during the waning days of summer, after the observance of Labor Day, when the school bells would ring once again. Eventually, with year round schedules and various breaks and holidays throughout the year, it is common for most schools to begin early in August, or even July.
Most of all it is time to “hit the books.” The distribution or purchase of new curriculum brings the smell of printed pages and volumes of undiscovered knowledge awaiting the voyage through hours of reading and learning. A sense of nostalgia pervades memories of the acquisition of new books, but books are inanimate objects incapable of sharing knowledge without the active participation of the student and teacher. Someone is needed to assign the readings and challenge the student to wade into the uncharted territory of new experience. What begins in a cloud of uncertainty and the fog of overwhelming information becomes clearer as the learning begins and then the thrill of discovery and the illumination of unknown passages creates an excitement rarely rivaled.
This can be the time of year when we are all challenged to “hit the book.” With the focus on study and learning may we all feel the urgency to continue our education in God’s Book, the Bible. There is a wealth of knowledge and undiscovered treasures in its pages. We find stories of history, narratives of personal triumph and tragedy, dramas revealed in several acts, poems expressing love and loss, and visionary literature revealing future events with graphic imagery. Most of all there is the story of redemption revealed throughout the 66 books compiled to form the Bible in two Testaments. The cause of sin and the condition of humanity, the brokenness of disobedience and the penalty of transgression, the bleakness of our condition and the brilliance of our redemption are all revealed in the pages of the Holy Text. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is revealed in four books and His glorious grace is experienced throughout. Hope is expressed, atonement is delivered, and salvation is secured through the glorious message of God’s love for each of us.
The Bible is most enduring, “Until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:18 NIV). The Word of God will prevail. It is “Living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword …, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Renew your passion for God’s great love story, the message of how our God became man so that we could have a hope beyond the grave and the promise of life everlasting. Don’t let it be just the students who are going back to school and reading the books. We can all go back to study, and back to The Book!
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).