A Billboard of the times

I went up to Springfield, IL for Youth Specialties' CORE training day (which I highly recommend for all staff and volunteers; they are just that good). On the way back, I spotted a billboard advertising the new AT&T phone book. The caption on the billboard is "Life's Most Used Book."

I thought this was a little presumptuous. The Bible, after all, is the world's best selling book. Why would it not also be the most used?

So I thought about it some more. On Day Camp a few years ago, my partner-counselor Shelly and I had a long discussion about why Lutherans don't bring their own Bibles to worship services with them. I pointed out that Lutheran churches usually have Bibles in the pews, but Shelly shot me down there by reminding me that not many Lutherans open them during services. In my current parish, we don't have pew Bibles, nor do most parishioners bring their own.

And when I was four years old, at the children's sermon time, I joyfully announced to my pastor that, "We don't have any Bibles in our house!" prompting my parents to start family devotions practically the next day to show me that yes, we did in fact have more than none.

The phone company is probably right. Their book probably wins for most uses per day. But ours is still better for eternal usefulness; the phone book has to be reissued every year, after all, and the Bible has stood for the generations. Now, I think a quest is in order; to teach Bible literacy so no matter what the billboard says, we will have a legitimate claim on the "most used" title.

Deuteronomy 6:4-8 (New International Version)

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

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