My Mother's Bible
Sunday - May 9th
Scripture to Read Today: Psalm 119:97-105
Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
When my mother went to be with the Lord in April of 2000, she left dozens of different Bible's strewn around the house. She had study Bibles, devotional Bibles, every version you could think of, and she had hardback, leather-bound, large print, and small print. She had Bibles in other languages - which she could not read. Most were very well worn, had highlighted verses on every page, notes in the margins, and were tattered and torn.
Mom's Bibles were worn out. They looked like they had been used by 25 people every day for a decade. She loved God's Word, and her Bibles demonstrated it. But, she wasn't greedy about them - even with the time she put into highlighting and taking notes in them. I can think of at least two occasions when mom just gave her Bible to someone she met at church who was new and did not have one!
While singing a hymn in a church service on Mother's Day 1993, the Lord impressed on my heart the precious example to me my mom was in her love for the Scriptures. It was the first time I had ever heard the hymn, "My Mother's Bible." In my mid-twenties, I had never been in a church that had sung this relatively obscure hymn. I served as a pastor at Limerick Chapel in the far western suburbs of Philadelphia. The folks of Limerick sang the hymn each Mother's Day. It echoed so much about my own mother's Bible!
Evangelist, Milan Bertrand Williams, wrote the lyrics of "My Mother's Bible," and Charles Davis Tillman wrote the music. It was first published in 1893 and stayed fairly popular in the first half of the twentieth century. You can enjoy the lyrics below.
The Psalmist provides a beautiful and comprehensive understanding of the Word of God in Psalm 119. Verse one hundred five of that chapter (the longest chapter in the Bible, by the way) speaks of the Scripture's practical value in our lives! "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."
How well worn is your Bible? Do you look to it daily as the guide for your way through the darkness of this world? Would anyone else be drawn to the Scriptures because of your passion for them?
On this Mother's Day, consider your example to others in how you love, pursue, and handle the Word of God!
Check out the lyrics of this old hymn below:
My Mother's Bible
by Milan B. Williams (1860–1941)
There's a dear and precious Book,
Tho' it's worn and faded now,
Which recalls the happy days of long ago;
When I stood at mother's knee,
With her hand upon my brow,
And I heard her voice in gentle tones and low.
Blessed book, precious book,
On thy dear old tear-stained leaves I love to look;
Thou art sweet day by day,
As I walk the narrow way
That leads at last to that bright home above.
As she read those stories o'er,
Of those mighty men of old,
Of Joseph and Daniel and their trials,
Of little David bold,
Who became a king at last;
Of Satan with his many wicked wiles.
Then she read of Jesus' love,
As he blest the children dear,
How he suffered, bled and died upon the tree;
Of his heavy load of care,
Then she dried my flowing tears
With her kisses as she said it was for me.
Well, those days are past and gone,
But their mem'ry lingers still,
And the dear old Book each day has been my guide;
And I seek to do his will,
As my mother taught me then,
And ever in my heart his words abide.