From time to time, I have asked confirmation students (in particular) to make a note or to highlight something in their Bibles. There seems to always be at least one of them that is "horrified" by this request. "This is a sacred book; you're not supposed to write in them", they would cry.
We're taught from an early age to not write in our books and when we have done so, it has elicited a scolding from our parents or teachers. We are told to respect books and the authors who created them. It is not until we go to college that that we find ourselves even highlighting our textbooks.
Yet, the Bible is the living Word. We are called to engage in conversations with the writers, the early church communities and most certainly with God. Through our notations, we interact with the Word. We talk back to the word that has encouraged or challenged us. We mark those words that speak to us in particular times in our lives. Highlights are drawn for those words that we want to come back and remember.
In about a month, we will be giving our 3rd graders brand new Bibles. They will crack the spines as they explore their pages, learning how to find particular verses. This will mark their ongoing relationship with God as they engage with the Word. They will be encouraged to create their own version of a "used Bible".
As they begin to make their own marks on these pages, what verses or stories would you want to share with them? Do you have favorite passages that you turn to again and again? What markings might you share from the use of your own Bibles?
We will be collecting these verses to make into bookmarks for our young people. You are asked to submit them within the next few weeks so that they might be prepared for them. You may either email them or share them in a comment here. Or you can give them to me. If you do not know the exact citation, write down what you remember and we will see about finding that for you.