The smell of musty paper, the look of newly white or agedly yellow leaves, the whispered sound of a turning page—none of those things affects me like so many (so, so many) of my friends. I don’t know why. I actually admire that sentiment in others; I just don’t have it.
So I preach with a tablet more often than with my beloved leather-bound ultra-thin KJV reference Bible. I have heard, and heard about, Christian leaders dismayed at the replacement of printed texts with electronic devices by people in the pew. I can only infer their angst at the use of touch screens in the pulpit. I assume their Luddite tendency is lightly held, but even if they were gravely serious, I would be loathe to oppose their opposition (redundancy intended) too seriously myself. I’m sure it’s just part of the give and take of historical development.
I imagine someone holding a scroll lamenting the first folio: “How will they ever commit to the entire text if they can find things by knowing something as trivial as a page number?” Or the reader resisting mass production: “Who will memorize if they can access the printed copy at any time?”
Of course, the point of being a people of the book is not that we roll, fold, turn, push, or flick, but what we encounter on the scroll, leaf, page, device, or screen. We read it, repeat it, and remember it because it is the one text within which we see from outside our world. So my encouragement to you this week is to read, to repeat, or to remember the Word. In all of its forms—calligraphed in Hebrew on an ancient scroll, or rapped by Alexa through the smart watch your android assistant is wearing—the truth is the same, elevating our work beyond this world.
Per the Psalm: I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.