Thrift-Store Theology

Biblical Times

Not just a rule-book

Maybe you're one of those who think that the Bible is something that is totally out of date with today's high technological world. Or maybe you believe in the Bible, the Ten Commandments and everything else but can't remember the last time you actually picked up a Bible and read it expecting it to speak to your current troubles. If either are the case, then I would like to relate this little story I found in the wonderful book God@Ground Zero by "Chaplin Ray" Giunta.

For better or worse, though, the terrorist attack had created a spiritual crisis as well as an emotional and physical one, and it has spilled out onto the streets. The presence of Bibles everywhere I looked was proof of that. People would all wave Bibles at me, especially the pocket-sized Gideon Bibles being given away throughout the area. During a rest break while digging on the pile one night, an ESU (emergency service unit) police officer pulled one of the small Bibles from his fatigues and showed it to me. "You know, years ago they tried to give out these books at the stations, but none of us would take them. And look at us now."

…One of those rainy nights, so wet that even the iron- workers were forced to take a long break, we were talking with a group of them while hunkered down in one of the damaged buildings. Window glass was falling around us, but we were out of the wind and rain and other falling debris, if you could imagine the irony of that. Here we were in a broken-down building that was the safest place we could be. The chaplain with me pulled a few candy bars from her bag to offer to the burly men. "Want some candy?" she asked one of the men. To get to them, she had to pull out the stashed pocket Bibles.

"No, but I'll take one of those."

"What?" she asked.

"Those," he repeated, pointing to the small Bibles still in her other hand.

"Me, too," said another. And another.

In a few seconds, the crew had cleaned our pockets of the little Bibles. …It was as if people were saying, Give me something that will bring me peace, words to read, words of life. I shouldn't be surprised. The Bible has done that for centuries; after all, it is a collection of books written for people in crisis." (P. 111-112)

"A collection of books written for people in crisis." Is there ever a time when we are NOT in crisis? Oh sure we may not be in a situation where life and death is so evident in our lives as when the terrorist attacked the U.S., but we are constantly under attack by Satan; the great evil one. Every one of us is undergoing some kind of crisis of the soul so that we are in need of comfort from someone who knows what we are going through. And there is no other source we can go to that can speak to us better than the scriptures. They are God's message to us that we are not alone. We are going through what others have gone through. And we, like they, are not going to be alone as long as we seek out God to be with us and to sustain us. If you haven't done it today, then read some from your Bible.

If you don't have one then talk to your pastor or go out and find a Gideon who will gladly give you one. Then ask the Lord to show you "…something that will bring [you] peace, words to read, words of life." I'm sure that is one prayer that will be answered very quickly.

Copyright© 2019 Larry T. Slater