I remember receiving my third grade Bible. I remember the red leather cover, the bold gold letters on the cover, and my name beautifully written in Mrs. Scherer’s careful calligraphy. I think about that Bible and the adventures we had together.
The pride I felt when I learned the trick that you can always find the psalms if you open the Bible half way. I remember reading the Gospel of Luke in Confirmation from its thin pages. The way it accompanied me to years of church camp and survived outdoor Bible study—there’s even a wildflower or two still pressed somewhere in the minor prophets. I don’t remember when, but at some point it went on a shelf and was replaced with a thick study Bible. Over the years, it collected an impressive layer of dust. Despite the dust, that Bible walked with me in my faith journey and it is precious to me.
This Sunday during the 10:00 a.m. worship service, we will be giving Bibles to 24 third graders. Over the past week, faithful volunteers have been marking significant passages. Some are about God’s faithfulness, while others are a call to be faithful. Some will provide comfort and others encouragement. I look at the stack of Bibles waiting for this Sunday’s service and I wonder what adventures they will have. Will they end up on a shelf covered with dust? Will they be read cover to cover? Will there be passages read so often the Bible falls open to those pages? Will they travel to Belize or just up the road to Camp Kirkwood? We believe that every Christian has the right and the privilege to read and interpret scripture. What a gift to welcome our third graders to share in such a great adventure!