We write this to make our joy complete. 1 John 1:4
It is estimated that 26 million English-speaking people in the United States are illiterate, that is, they can’t read the newspaper, address an envelope, write a check, or read a public notice.
When people are unable to read and write, it is much harder to get word to them – to communicate the Word of God. Of course, there is still the avenue of hearing and the use of visual material. But reading the Word – and writing it, as Christian authors do – is essential to the fulfillment of our Christian mission to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today, as in the past, missionaries have opened schools to teach the native tribes how to read and write. These skills open a new world to these people. They give them access to God’s message in the Holy Scriptures. Of course, one can say, we can by word of mouth and over the radio tell the Gospel to the illiterate, and this is being done. But it is important, too, that the hearers of the Word become readers of it, so that they can learn firsthand what God has to say to them. Of the early Christians in Berea it is said: “They received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11).
While the ability to read and write is of great hope to people in everyday life, it is especially important in one’s relationship to Jesus Christ. He is the essence of the Holy Scriptures. They testify of Him as the Word through whom God made known His saving love. Jesus the Word not only spoke of and for the Father, He also did what the Father wanted Him to do: to give His life as a ransom for the redemption of all people.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord God, that I have the ability to read and write. Guide me to help others to learn to read and write, and to lead them to Jesus, their Savior. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)