Photo and Commentary ©2020 by Maylan Schurch
Sabbath, January 11, 2020

On New Year’s Day of this year Shelley and I traveled up to Third Place Books in the Lake Forest Park Town Center, lured by a one-day-only discount at that excellent store. In the “commons” eating area which adjoins the store I saw this poster on a large community bulletin board.

I love these bulletin boards, and I noticed that this one contained posters inviting me to learn new skills (one promised to make me a cartoonist, and another displayed an old photo of several stern-looking outlaws with hats and handlebar moustaches, and the caption read, “WANTED: A Few Good Men to Learn the Tango.”)

The large headline on the above poster drew me in, but the red-print subtitle caused me to pause. “You should write a book” is something people say to each other all the time, especially as a suggestion to someone with a dramatic life story. But “Give them what they want” seems a bit crass.

Nevertheless, this is what happens with the most successful writers. Whether it’s romance, mystery, suspense, military action or whatever, an able author who has found niche or genre–and then proceeds to fulfill all the promises of that genre time after time–is often successful. The audience is satisfied, and often returns.

For centuries the world’s universal best-seller, the Bible, has bucked that trend. Instead of “Give them what they want,” God decided to “Give them what they need.” Every era has had its popular authors, and 99% of them fade into obscurity. But the Scriptures remain, and its characters are so significant that we name our children after them.

As the New Year begins, however, a lot of people who know that they should read the Bible more are often intimidated by its size (750,000 words) and its sometimes puzzling writing styles. However, if we take some time every day to read it, we quickly find that our minds can adapt.

Want to try to read the Bible through in a year? Go to this website’s home page, click the “Links You’ll Like” icon, and you’ll find a reading plan. Don’t worry about what you haven’t read yet. Just jump into the plan and take it from there.

And to find out what the Bible has to say about itself, click the link just below: