"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1 (NIV)
It caught me off guard. While standing and singing praise and worship songs during our Sunday morning worship service, the choir began singing a song that I was not familiar with. It was called Ancient Words, written by Lynn DeShazo in 1999. As we came to the chorus of the song, each member of the choir held their Bibles up in the air, and within moments, scores of people in our congregation began lifting their Bibles to the heavens as they sang. The sight of all of those Bibles lifted high in the air, resting on the melodies of praise that were being sung to our God, literally took my breath away.
I began to consider the importance that we put o n ancient things. Antique furniture, our grandmother's fine china, estate jewelry, old pictures, and precious family heirlooms all come to mind. I began to wonder why these things are so important to us. Is it just because they are old and from another point in time? Is it because they belonged to people we love? Or is it our desire to simply have a piece of something that came into existence before we were born?
I believe that we not only long for antiques, or ancient things, but we often long for how things were in the ancient days. The days when morals were the driving force for how to live one's life. The days when God was an integral part of our education system, our workplace, and our communities. The days when we could speak of our faith without worrying about offending someone. The days when we could raise our children based on biblical principles without feeling like the minority. And the days when our country was founded on Jesus Christ, and proud of that found ational belief.
As time passes, things change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. But our hope lies in knowing that there is one thing never changes…God's Word and the truths that are found in His Word.
In ancient days, and today, the Bible invites us to discover the covenant relationship that the Lord desires to have with each of us. Through the words of those holy pages, we are taught how to live a life that pleases Him, and how to embrace His commandments for living. Through God's Word we learn how to deal with adversity and stand strong in the face of opposition and suffering. We find hope, grace, forgiveness, peace and purpose.
Those ancient Holy words give us the courage, freedom and strength to live in a world that may not value the most precious antique of all.
God's ancient words will never change, and our hearts do not have to change either if we hold tight to our faith. God's Word is timeless.
Just as the passing of time makes an antique even more valuable, the same goes for God's Word. Its value increases with each passing day, encourages every generation, and holds true to the end of time. It is our choice whether or not we will treasure God's Word in our hearts.
Dear Lord, build in me a hunger for Your Word that can only be met by spending time with You. Help me treasure the Bibles in my household more than any other items I own. Help me to pass down a passion for Your Word to my family and friends so that I can pass down the most valuable of all antiques. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
The lyrics of the song "Ancient Words":
Holy words long preserved for our walk in this world
They resound with God's own heart; O let the ancient words impart
Words of life, words of hope; Give us strength, help us cope
In this world where'er we roam, ancient words will guide us home
Holy words of our faith, handed down to this age
Came to us through sacrifice; O heed the faithful words o f Christ!
Martyrs' blood stains each page, they have died for this faith
Hear them cry through the years, "Heed these words and hold them dear!"
Ancient words, ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
O let the ancient words impart
Tuesday, May 26, 2009