The Bible & I

I wrote last week that in a charity auction I had been made the adoptive parent to the Bible for one year. Ever since them I have been reflecting on this awesome responsibility.  As those who handle the Bible ‘professionally’, there are many different ways in which we understand our relationship with this God-breathed book.

Keeper – to talk about myself as the Bible’s keeper rather implies that I am in charge of it. I can maybe persuade it to do my bidding or coax it into a corner of my choosing.  The times when we do those things as preachers, even inadvertently, are ones we would rather forget. On the other hand, a keeper is devoted to his or her charge and will spend many hours tending it.

Guardian – to see myself as the Bible’s guardian might suggest that it is little and vulnerable and needs me to protect it.  After all, every minor needs a parent or guardian to look out for their interests.  Clearly the Bible doesn’t need me to protect it, since it preceded me by centuries and will probably succeed me by centuries too. That said, an attitude of responsibility (so long as it is not proprietorial) can be a good thing.

Herald – I like this one. A herald is there to draw attention to someone or something far more important than himself.  Often stationed high up in a gallery out of sight at state occasions, the clarion call of the herald announces the grand arrival of the king or queen.  To ‘announce’ the bible in this way is a great privilege.

Servant – this is a catch-all term, but maybe it is all the better for that. When all’s said and done I am a servant of the Word of God.  Whenever I allow it to speak I serve it well, and whenever I muffle its sound with my own I serve it poorly.

Take a look at the poll below. If you could choose only one word to describe your relationship as a preacher to the Bible – what would it be?