We give thanks today, God of great gifts, for the Bible.
Thank you for these Bibles in our hands, the Bibles in our homes
the free access to holy scripture that we enjoy in this country.
Thank you for the many faithful people
who delivered this Bible into our hands today;
the people who wrote it,
the people who copied it out,
the people who died protecting it,
the people who translated it,
the people who interpreted it,
century after century.
Thank you for the people who shared it with us;
family members, Sunday school teachers, preachers.
Thank you that we can read it together and learn from it.
Open this book for us.
Everyone here has a different relationship with the Bible.
Some people love it,
some people think they should love it, but don’t,
some people find it hard to read,
other people know great swaths of it by heart.
Give our community a love for scripture,
a thirst for you, that we can quench in this book.
We ask this for everyone in our congregation.
And having it read it; help us live it!
Give us the courage to do what we’ve learned
and to follow the path of Jesus.
This morning we pray for people of all faiths
who read each other’s holy books,
seeking understanding and ways to dialogue
with other cultures and other religions.
Thank you for the way religion can be a bridge
that connects us rather than a wall that divides us.
We think especially today of Jerusalem,
where Muslims, Christians and Jews look for peace,
each with their own holy books in their hands.
Raise up peacemakers who can speak to all three traditions,
and forge a peace that everyone can live with.
Finally, we pray that all we say and all we do
could give glory to you, the Living Word,
first and last, ever and always. Amen