The elderly woman I sat beside seemed distressed as she pointed to her Bible. I handed it to her and watched as she thumbed through the pages. She said it always brought tears to her eyes when she thought of the first part of Genesis. I later realized this was because the first ten chapters of the book of Genesis were missing.

I always loved going to church, since I was a little girl, although we really weren’t given a choice. We just knew, if something was going on at church, we would be there.

The conversation went on for a bit, ending with the 23rd Psalm and a prayer.

Our conversation stayed with me and made me realize how long it had been since I’d seen someone have that much respect for her personal copy of the Word of God.

At the risk of sounding like an "old fogy" who has lost touch with the modern world, I’m going to share a few thoughts that have been lingering ever since.

There was a day when our personal copy of the Bible was considered just that, personal... almost sacred. We kept it clean, maybe even with a protective cover on it, and stored in a special place when we weren’t reading it. Gradually, we began to collect different versions so we could read and compare. Then, we started leaving our personal copy in the car from one Sunday to the next. Eventually, technology introduced us to the electronic Bible. Now, we have access to literally hundreds of copies stored in our phones.

Again, my intention isn’t to judge this transition as good or bad. It’s just something I’ve been observing.

I’ve noticed a similar phenomenon happening with our physical place of worship. I don’t hear many people these days grieve over the fact that they’ve gone weeks without going to church or connecting with their spiritual community.

The reasons are varied — business travel, the children’s sports leagues, illness, or simply a lack of interest. I’ve heard things like, “I can worship just as well on the water with just me and the Lord as I can in a church building.” Or, “That’s the only free day I have to rest, relax and do nothing.”

We really were not given a choice... we just knew if something was going on at the church we would be there…

Again, no judgment implied, just reflections on how things have changed and thoughts that probe my heart.

So, here’s a few questions for us to think about this week:

Do we truly value the Word of God and the Community He has blessed us with?

Do we truly value the Word of God and the Community He has blessed us with?
Whether leather bound, red-letter-edition, on the big screen, or in our pockets, do we truly appreciate that God loves us so much He has given us unlimited ways to read His words?

Do we truly appreciate the spiritual community God has provided us through the countless ways and places we have to cultivate our relationship with Jesus?

I think the Bible would have us think about these things, too:

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:14-17).

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near (Hebrews 10:23-25 NLT).

I hope these words inspire you to absorb the words of God in a space you love surrounded by people you love.