This past Sunday I had the privilege of volunteering with a non-profit organization called Bibles for America. They had a table out at the annual Solano Stroll, a street fair that takes place on Solano Avenue, which extends from Berkeley into Albany. At the table they gave out free study Bibles (just the New Testament) as well as some Christian literature. My job as a volunteer was to introduce the study Bible to people by showing them how to use the different features (outlines, footnotes, cross-references). I had no problem doing this since I’ve been using and enjoying this study Bible for many years.
I was not too sure what to expect. Berkeley is kind of the antithesis to the Bible-belt. It’s more like the anti-Bible belt. I wasn’t so sure people would take Bibles, even if we were giving them away for free. So I was prepared to have people heckle, sneer, give dirty looks and just generally not be too open to what we had to offer. Before going, the Lord brought me to these verses in Philippians 2:15-16:
That you may be blameless and guileless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as luminaries in the world, holding forth the word of life, so that I may have a boast in the day of Christ that I did not run in vain nor labor in vain.
I enjoyed that our job in the midst of this crooked and perverted generation is to shine as luminaries. How do we shine? By holding forth the word of life. Holding forth the word of life doesn’t just mean literally presenting and giving the Bible to others as I would be doing at the table, but even more it means to enjoy the word and hold it forth in our living. We have no light in ourselves, but as we behold the One who is full of light in the word, we can’t help but reflect Him to the ones around us. So in the car on the way there I prayed, “Lord, make me a luminary holding forth the word of life today.”
I was only there for a couple of hours and I was pleasantly surprised at the response we got. There seemed to always be a steady stream of people who would stop at the table and many were very appreciative of the free Bible and literature. We met some dear fellow believers and one woman even prayed to receive the Lord right there at the table! At least for the little time I was there, no one heckled, jeered, or gave us dirty looks. Maybe Berkeley isn’t as godless as I thought.
If you would like to receive a free Recovery Version study Bible, you can get one by going to the Bibles for America website.