THAT'S what my Bible is to me--sacred pages. It's been my physician, my counselor and faithful friend, my strong help, for many, many years.
Once, years ago, I was asked to interview and apply for a job that seemed like a pinnacle to my career. It seemed as if I were the natural one for the job, yet the job went to someone else. At first I felt crushed. Soon, though, I turned to my Bible for counsel. My eyes fell on a verse from Colossians that says, "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Those words "ye are dead might not seem likely words of comfort. But they were. Because when I read them, the mortal sense of ambition that had made the position so important did die. I was again able to entrust God with my work, as well as with my family's well-being. I was reminded to put spiritual things first. In that way, our lives were "hid with Christ in God.
A few years later, a career opened up for me that was truly one where I could make my best contribution. And it was something that wouldn't have been possible if I'd taken the other job.
If we're thinking the Bible's just tribal history or a compilation of moral strictures, we're probably missing its deepest point. It may even seem dull and useless. But when it's correctly viewed as the account of God's revealing His true nature to man and the effect of this in man's life, then the book comes alive.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, placed great emphasis on Bible study that digs down to a spiritual understanding of its message. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she says: "The Scriptures are very sacred. Our aim must be to have them understood spiritually, for only by this understanding can truth be gained.
Isn't it illogical to think that God--who loves man, His own complete creation--would ever mean not to be understood? Nor would God want anyone to remain in ignorance about His nature as infinite Spirit and eternal, divine Love.
There's a Bible story in Acts that illustrates this point. It tells how a staunch early Christian, Philip, helped an Ethiopian man understand what he was reading from the prophet Esaias. Philip met this man on the road, but it was no chance meeting. God had directed him there. And help he did. As the Bible says, "Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. When Philip left him, the Bible tells us, this Ethiopian "went on his way rejoicing.
Joy! Isn't this what the Bible brings us? Conventional thought often presents a miserable picture of mankind. In the Bible, the healings and teachings of Christ Jesus show the nobility and strength of the upright, spiritual man made in God's likeness. This spiritual concept of man--our genuine individuality--can be learned and then proved in our own lives.
The inspired meaning of Bible passages is not hidden or mysterious. It is meant for everyone. And it's a meaning that deepens as we continue to study it.
Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science came as the result of her deep study of the Bible. In Science and Health she says of the Bible: "Christian Science separates error from truth, and breathes through the sacred pages the spiritual sense of life, substance, and intelligence. In this Science, we discover man in the image and likeness of God. We see that man has never lost his spiritual estate and his eternal harmony.
The Bible's sacredness isn't on the level of ritual or of something remote and untouchable. Instead, it lies in the book's power to transform our thinking and our lives. The Bible shows God's living, tangible love for us.