In my office I have a small, blue Bible with my name imprinted on the front of it in silver letters. It was given to me by my now wife in 1999; we were 16 years old. Its falling a part, from about James to the end is in about 3 different sections.
This Bible has been on trips in this country and around the world. Over the years I have read along with ministers during the scripture readings, I have read portions of the Bible myself and have marked important and meaningful passages along the way.
These particular passages spoke to me in a variety of different ways, so much so that I had to remember it so I could return to the familiar passages to find that sense of connection and God’s presence in my life. Companies have created special pens, pencils and hi-lighters made specifically for those wafer thin pages of the Bible. Sometimes when I pick up that blue Bible I find passages marked that make me stop and think “what was going on in my life that would make me want to mark that?”
Throughout our lives there are specific and certain ‘markers.’ These points on our time line of life are highlights (and sometimes low lights) in our life: Times when God drew close or when God seemed absent, times of joy and times of sorrow, times of transition and times of stability. All of these experiences culminate into a conglomerate that is our faith. It is the markers of our lives that make the picture of God, the picture of faith, the picture of community.
I sometimes get asked if writing or marking in the Bible is appropriate. Sometimes people point to the verse in Revelation that reminds the reader not to add or subtract from the book as a commandment from God not to tarnish the sacred pages. I do not believe that was John’s intent; for starters the Bible as we know it today was not complied until many, many years later, so if anything John was referring to book known as Revelation itself. God’s word is something that is holy but also tangible. God’s presence with us has to be lived out; it has to be in our ‘markers’ of life.
If you hi-light or underline in your Bible, go back through and see what you marked. Maybe those verses will trigger a memory (good or bad) or maybe it will be comfort for you. Either way the fact of the matter still remains that the Bible is a way that the faithful of years past has been able to share the stories of God to the next generation. The Bible speaks to us and continues to speak to us, day after day, month after month, year after year.
So go ahead, mark away… mark the times when you encountered God through the sacred pages.