Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Illuminated Word

Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 260: Today, I am grateful for an illuminated word. 

Back in the 1500's illuminated manuscripts were popular. Many were created in monasteries and only the very wealthy would posses one. Today, these rare books, when found in good condition are quite costly and sought after by determined collectors. 

This image is a Illuminated Manuscript Bible in Ethiopia. 
Today, there is a new way of illuminating God's word, but is it really new? Illustrating faith in journaling Bibles is the updated version of illuminating scripture. The monks of the 15th century meticulously added pictures to scripture in the margins, to tell the story in pictures along with the words.  So many people could not read, but when they would see a book with images, it would be reminder of the Bible passage. 

This verse fits:

The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. -Psalm 119:130

Sometimes, the best way to capture the meaning of His Word is to look at it with a child's heart, full of trust and wonder. Pictures can help us to gain a richer understanding. Teaching children can help grown-ups ground themselves in the scriptures. 

The image is from an illuminated manuscript Bible that is in a church in Ethiopia. Remember that Paul shared the gospel with a man from Ethiopia who had purchased "Isaiah" and was reading it but did not understand it. Paul... new in his conversion... shared the gospel. The Ethiopian man believed and was baptized. I wonder... was it the seeds of that man's faith spilled out, took root and somehow echoed through the ages? Was this Bible was commissioned by the church there?  

Adding pictures brought the words and the learning to life.  In truth, His Word doesn't need pictures, but our creative minds benefit from the addition. There are times a picture is worth 1000 words. 

There are many ways to illuminate his word... beyond pictures is song. I, personally, adore writing song lyrics in my Bible. Today, I learned that about a special place in Tanzania where they sing "Be Thou My Vision" with enthusiasm and joy. The words sound different, but the song and the message is the same. 

To illuminate means to light up. 

Today, I am grateful for an illuminated word.

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