God's Word, Always Up-to-Date

James Nettinga

READ : Luke 4:16-19
Hebrews 1:1-2

On New Year’s Day, 1942 Bishop Berggrav, leader of the resistance against Hitler in Norway, wrote a letter to his wife from prison. In it he quoted the words of our reading, “He has anointed me to preach the Good News to the poor . . . to proclaim release to the captives . . . recovery of sight to the blind . . . to set free the oppressed. . . .” The police censored the letter. His wife was told to tell her husband that he is forbidden to quote the Bible for it is “much too up-to-date.” This has been the timeless witness of the Bible. Its eternal message of truth breaks through its ancient pasture-like settings and yet speaks to us in our scientific-atomic age today. Human settings may change, but the needs of the human heart remain the same.

The Hebrews writer tells us that God spoke to our ancestors in different times in many ways but now he speaks to us through Christ. He speaks to us today through the written word. An African village chief, listening to a missionary read one of Paul’s letters asked, “When did you say that was written?” “About 1900 years ago,” replied the missionary. “Now I know you are a liar,” exclaimed the chief, “that was written about our village.” Much too up-to-date indeed!


O Lord, open our hearts so your word may speak to us today. May we never fear to share it with others. Amen.