I pulled my ratty old Bible out of a box the other day... Its dated May 18, 1990. My mother gave it to me 19 years ago- a burgundy bonded leather NIV Student Edition. She had my name lettered in gold on the front. The pages are littered with graffiti, as I used to be an underliner, highlighter, writer of margin notes & such. These days, I hopscotch through many different versions & prefer to keep my pages clean to keep "distraction" to a minimum.
When I hold this book in my hands, its gold edged pages now dull & yellowing, I can recall the places its been... In the pew pockets of the church I was "saved" in, in the churches I visited... It lay under the folding chairs at the youth camp where I once worked, it was perched on rocks, on fallen trees, carried in my backpack, on buses, on planes, across town, across the country. I memorized swatches of scripture from it when I was still in Christian School. I wrote my first songs from it's Psalms. By the Words inside, I prayed, I cried, I rejoiced. The pages are stained with tears, with coffee, with all manner of ink smears & other random blemishes. The cover is torn & tattered now, but the binding remains surprisingly strong. And isn't that the way it goes with our faith sometimes?
As I begin another readthru, I begin again with my ratty old Bible... Its been with me a good many years, has traveled a good many places. The last 19 years have brought countless changes, but the Words are still the same, just as Jesus remains the same yesterday, today & forever.