SOMEONE forwarded me a letter from a Mani, who wrote saying the Bible would disappear in the next fifty years if we did not try and save it! It piqued my interest, and I continued reading his words, chewing on what he was saying.
He was cleverly not saying that the words of the Bible would disappear, oh no, he was saying that the book in its printed form would not be around, because soon it would all be in an electronic format. In other words I found, his words were similar to someone saying….don’t read news from your laptop, but read it only from newspapers! Don’t read a novel on Kindle but only buy a hard copy book!
And finally I likened it to the Post Master General, suddenly seeing his job disappearing, telling everyone not to message each other on WhatsApp or email, but use the old fashioned Inland letter so he and his poor postmen could save their jobs! Don’t blame me for wondering what happened to the horsemen, the stable boys and the stable owners when the motor car arrived? But let’s get back to the Word of God!
I believe the best place for God’s word to be is in your heart! But for it to be transferred there we need the words either vocally said to us, maybe through YouTube or read through any mode, whether it be phone, laptop, book or tablet! The covers of your Bible, nor the white pages it was printed on don’t make up the holiness of the Bible, Mr Mani are you listening, the words do, and the words can appear in any mode!
During the pandemic, church services were broadcast over the internet and people listened and participated and still do in the comfort of their homes! Did anybody cry out saying these services and the mass was an act of heresy, not God’s? That only if we sat in church it was legitimate worship? Even communion was shared by the faithful without priests, did that make the bread and wine, anything other than the body of Christ? It’s when we spread such ‘carrying a hard copy Bible to church’ misinformation, that we form needless rituals in impressionable minds.
The family Bible becomes a holy relic in many homes, and though dusty and never opened, it remains lying a ‘lucky charm’ on our shelves! When we speak and forward such untruths, we will lose the youth of today, who, in the same way we moved from reading the Bible in Latin to the language we are comfortable with, have moved from paper to a paperless mode, but still imbibe what we once did from a hard bound book!
Use technology! Let the sacred word spread! And if you are the owner or manager of a printing press then jump into the new normal, and learn newer ways of spreading the word instead of creating a new ritual to sell books.
I can imagine a church after reading such misinformation saying, “Only those carrying a hardbound Bible will enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” Even as you smile, do remember that churches a few centuries ago did prescribe such man(i) made rules even as Jesus came to make life simpler as we lived through His salvation in the Faith..!