In most churches here in Nicaragua the church calendar unimportant. The overwhelming majority of churches do not hold special services for Christmas, and for most Easter is celebrated as if it were just another Sunday (this is largely to differentiate protestant churches from Catholicism). However, one Sunday that does receive special attention is Dia de la Biblia (Day of the Bible). Every year churches throughout Nicaragua celebrate Dia de la Biblia, which commemorates the Bible being translated into Spanish. I love that they take a whole day to celebrate God’s Word in such a big way, because I can’t imagine life had I never heard it.
One of the most dramatic events in scripture, in my opinion, occurs in 2 Kings 22. This takes place after the Temple of Jerusalem has been destroyed and the people have long forgotten about God’s Word. As construction crews were beginning reconstruction a man name Hilkiah found the Holy Scriptures deep in the rubble. He gave it to the King’s secretary, which is where we pick up the story:
Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king.When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found.” II Kings 22:10-13
I love that verse: Hilkiah the priest has given me a book. It seems so simple and mundane. We receive books, or at least recommendations for books, all the time. Yet, look at the impact the reading of this book has. As soon as the King has heard God’s Word his life, and the lives of his people change. He repents of his sins by tearing his clothes, he calls on his assistants to study it in-depth, and he calls upon the whole nation to begin living by it. Suddenly the lives of all the Israelites takes a dramatic turn for the better, all because someone found a book, and someone else chose to follow it. Friends, that’s the power of the Bible! It’s the Word of God given to us to direct our lives, to inspire us, to transform us, and to share the message of salvation with us. It’s not just any book, but a gift directly from God for us. Let’s not let this book get berried under all the rubble of our lives: our schedules, the messages of the world, our own desires, etc. Instead, like Josiah, lets excitedly dive into the Word, letting it transform our lives and the lives of others around us.