Tuesday, August 08, 2023

National Book Lovers Day

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

Reading as a child, enjoying the short stories, the long books and the ability to lose ourselves in a story so powerful that at the end we are asking ourselves where to get the next book in the series. At the moment I am waiting expectantly for Richard Osman’s fourth book in his Thursday Murder Club series to arrive on 14 September. In the meantime my appetite has been whetted by receiving a preview of the first three chapters. 

Today is for the reader in all of us - the celebration of National Book Lovers Day!  Crack open your favourite book, visit a bookshop or library to find your next great read, and enjoy the relaxation and joy of being a reader and book lover.

While National Book Lovers Days’s origins may be shrouded in mystery and rumour, the books themselves are not. Starting from carving on stone tablets thousands of years ago, the book was designed to make the writings and drawings portable for those that could not be carried around on stone tablets. Originally these written documents were made on parchment or vellum (calf skin, in case, like me, you did not know) that was then bound tightly with a wooden cover.

In the more modern age, printing capabilities made books cheaper, and easier, to print. The printing press was invented in Germany in 1436 by Johannes Gutenberg with the original intention, thankfully, of printing Bibles. Of course, the printing press, the typewriter, and the computer all had an impact on the way that books were created, produced, marketed and sold.

But even more in recent years is the upsurge in electronic devices that can be used as places to read. Computers, tablets, and even most mobile phones now have the ability for the user to read books, making it that much easier to carry around a small library to enjoy no matter where we find ourselves. 

God has written us a love letter. It is the Bible. He did not want us to wonder if we were loved. He gave us His written word so that we could see for ourselves how He feels about us. Here are some of the words of love from the book of Jeremiah that God has for us:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

The prophet Zephaniah also reminds us that the “Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

God loves us so much and desires for us to have a relationship with Him, that He was willing to go to great lengths for us. We are all sinners and the punishment for sin is death, but God, in His love, provided a way for us so that we do not need to die for our sin. He sent His Son, Jesus, who was perfect and without sin, to be the sacrifice for our sin. He died in my place. He died in your place.

Just as we can find comfort in reading words written by our nearest and dearest professing love for us, so we can be reassured reading God’s words of love to us as well. We do not have to wonder if God loves us. All throughout the Bible He tells us He loves us. We are loved forever because He is love!

Writing to the Christians in Rome, the apostle Paul spells out the amazing unchanging love of God when he wrote, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, no any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


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