National Bible Week is celebrated each year from Sunday to Sunday of Thanksgiving week. This year the celebration runs from November 23-30.
Of the many resolutions we make every year, to finish reading the entire Bible from Alpha to Omega may be one of them. But what does reading the Bible especially around the period of Thanksgiving holiday mean in our lives? Actually, we may be the most busy during this time because we are trying to wrap up things at work in order to have a stress-free (holiday traffic not yet accounted for) time with family. We should be worrying about which turkey to get, which highway or airline to take, and which days to request off from work. Why interrupt this already busy schedule to read the Bible?
On Thanksgiving, we give thanks. But in giving thanks, there is something essential we must remember: God’s grace for us. But grace cannot be self-derived nor does it always come into our hearts from instantaneous epiphanies inspired by life’s experiences. No. The deeper we can meditate on the Word of God, the more grace we can receive.
Grace can come in two ways. First, we recognize how good our Father God is to us in our lives, providing everything we need. We can focus on the good and receive grace from that. But how can we profoundly feel the grace that will invoke thanksgiving in our hearts? We must first meditate on the sin. When we read the Bible, not only does it tell us what we must do, but it explains why. We are beings who have fallen from our beautiful images as creations of God. The cause was sin. Comparing the sinful image we have now to the original image of Creation, we can only begin to see the ugliness of sin. By seeing the sin within us, we are able to realize what has been keeping us from having a grateful heart. As sinners, we tend to elevate and center the world and God around ourselves. Selfishness consumes us. Arrogance reigns in us. Before we know it, we are ungrateful.
However, as we review and meditate on the Word of God, we are able to feel once again the warm sunshine from His grace that enters our hearts to erase that sin. Therefore, the second method to receiving grace, by focusing on the sin, is more effective. We can feel more so God’s abundant grace when we see how far He has redeemed us from our sinful state.
The National Bible Week only lasts for a week. It can be a time we can reconcile with God and truly empty our hearts so that we may be filled during the holiday. Let’s all make the most of this opportunity as the Holy Spirit works throughout America and changes each one of us.