One of the most popular and clearly most important prepositional phrases ever written is, “In the beginning.” No matter the version; no matter the religious affiliation; no matter the belief, tradition, culture, or race…The Holy Bible, The Torah, and The Quran each credit God as being the Creator of Heaven and Earth….”In the Beginning” (Genesis 1:1).
However, you will not only find the prepositional phrase, “In the Beginning” written in the Book of Genesis 1:1, you will also find it written in the New Testament in the Book of John, chapter one, verse one: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was WITH God, and the Word WAS God.” A few verses later, in verse fourteen, you will read, “And the WORD was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory; the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Amen.
So, we learn that one of the names given to Christ Jesus, by God himself, is the WORD! And, a study of Genesis will reveal that God spoke the Word to bring forth both Heaven and Earth. Therefore, we can conclude that communicating (bringing forth speech in the form of word (logos)…both verbal and written) is an essential tool and foundation for life. Therefore, since God placed such emphasis upon communicating with mankind through both the spoken and written Word, would you not conclude that “reading” is an essential tool of life?
While teaching middle grades education, I took a very extensive and rigorous college course in Reading and currently hold an Endorsement in Reading (grades K-12). This course allowed me to meet all state and local requirements to not only teach reading but to test and evaluate students for both strengths and deficiencies regarding reading skills (from phonemic awareness to extensive comprehension and vocabulary). On one particular day, while preparing a lesson in phonics, it occurred to me that in the Old Testament days, the Children of Israel used the Torah as their Basal Reader (so to speak) to teach their children how to read. Their children learned to read in order to sustain their lives; a life devoted solely unto God. I realized that instead of learning simple words such as, cat, dog, mice, and hat, etc., these children were learning to pronounce, recognize, read, and comprehend words such as “Mahalaleel” and “Methusehal,” and “Arphax,” and “Hazarmaveth,” A long way from Dick and Jane!
As I continued to ponder and meditate upon this concept, I concluded that “reading,” itself, is very much a Spiritual matter. I believe Reading and the idea of reading come directly from God! After all, this is how He chose to communicate with us! We read, simply because God placed unparalleled emphasis upon the WORD as His chosen form or means of communication with his creation; man.
I explained my theory to one of my college professors who shared in my perspective and thought it might be a good idea to perform an experiment or survey to see if those children exposed to the Bible are more affluent in their reading skills and comprehension skills as opposed to children who were never exposed to the Word of God. Even though I am now retired from teaching, I would certainly love to be a part of that survey and study; should it ever be conducted!
Back in January, 1979, at the age of twenty-three, I sit one night alone reading my Bible from the Book of John when I came across the verse, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” I suddenly realized that as I was sitting there on my couch reading the Bible, that I was in fact holding the Word that had manifested itself in the flesh as…Jesus Christ… who dwelt among us! Ever since that day, John 1:14 has been one of my favorite verses in the Bible. For me, it brings it all home to the fact that God and Jesus are One and were together, “In the Beginning!” Then, one will read in the Book of Genesis, “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” There it is…God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Spirit…Three in One…In The Beginning!! The picture of the Trinity. Praise God.
This morning, aren’t you glad that when you hold and read the Bible that you are, in fact, holding the very precious Word of God who manifested itself into the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? I know I am. I am also thankful for the Holy Spirit who guides me to the Word that guides me to the Father. “For no man can come unto the Father except through the Son.” Amen. I am safe with the Father, through the Son; the Word of God that sustains.
When our public school system began in the 1700’s under the leadership of Horace Mann, the Bible was used to help teach reading. Ponder the many outstanding accomplishments and inspiring leaders that our nation produced in those formative days. Today, any classroom teacher will tell you that a child who possesses well-developed reading skills will most likely excel in all of his or her studies. Reading, even today, continues to be the very foundation of all learning. Learning and reading begin with sound ( a phoneme, the smallest unit of sound). How exciting is that! God chose “sound” to create the entire Universe and Heaven….”And, God said…” By his “spoken” Word, life as we know it began. Oh, my friend the awesome mysteries of our Living God!
So, when you curl up with a good book of any type, you are conducting and carrying out the very gift of God towards mankind in the ability to read and to comprehend. Maybe we should be more careful of what we read and study!! Communicating through the spoken and written Word was and remains God’s way of expressing His love towards mankind. So much so, that God chose His only begotten Son, The WORD, to become human flesh in order to live a perfect, sinless life, pay the ultimate penalty of death on the Cross for man’s sins, and then to be powerfully resurrected from the dead unto eternal life to live and reign with God forever more…Amen. Amazing!
The next time you read (even if you are reading this blog!) just remember…the Power of Reading is a gift from God. “In the Beginning God created…” and “In the Beginning was the Word and the Word became flesh.”
Thank you sweet Jesus for the Word and for the blessed gift to read and comprehend thy Word. Amen and Amen.
I think I’ll enjoy the day reading a good book!
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T. Rollins, Author