September 6 is “National Read a Book” day in America. In a world of technology, full of posts and tweets and pins and snaps, it is refreshing to sit with a real book and read typed words in ink on a page made of paper. The feeling of the book in your hands, a pencil or pen or highlighter, is comforting. There is joy in a book store or library, to find a buried treasure, or gain knowledge and power. Reading a bedtime story with kids or grandkids, or the librarian or teacher sharing books at story time, are noble tasks. We can truly celebrate books all year round, but today is special. Amen for books!
God has a few books in His library. Of course, the Bible is written by Him, 66 individual books “breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).” But there are other specific books that are important to Him. The book of the law was found in 2 Kings 22 and renewed the community, stirring them to return to God and love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Another is the book of sorrows (Psalm 56:8) where God records all our tears and heartaches; they will be wiped away on the great Day to come! He has a book of remembrance (Malachi 3:14) where He remembers “all those who fear the Lord and esteem His name.” Perhaps the most important book is the Lamb’s book of life, because, “if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).” Is your name in His book?
Some books I’m currently reading are related to knowing God and spiritual growth and being a pastor, like “Prayer” by Tim Keller, and, “The Care of Souls” by Harold L. Senkbeil. I like to read history, and “The Last Ride of the Pony Express” by Will Grant has been very interesting. I haven’t read fiction in a while, but “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr was powerful. There’s always the occasional Calvin and Hobbes’ collection and comic book, as well.
As Dr. Seuss said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” We have a library and several books to give away at Central Plains Church. Melissa Hutmacher and all the staff at Cozard Public Library are always helpful in finding a good book. I encourage you to, “take up and read,” as St Augustine heard. And as Groucho believed, “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” Celebrate “National Read a Book” day today and every day.