Monday, October 14, 2013
How much is the Lord's prayer worth?
excerpt from the book, Extreme Devotion
Six men and one widow were taken before the court for committing an extreme crime against the Church of England. They had taught their children the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments in the English language.
Latin was the only language allowed for biblical instruction in England in 1519. However, the common people spoke English. The believers secretly translated parts of Scripture into English and carefully passed the translations from home to home. But now they had been caught, and they were to be tied to stakes and publicly burned.
Out of the seven prisoners, the mercy of the court had smiled solely on the widow. She was allowed to go free. No one protested, for she was alone and had children to care for at home.
A guard named Simon Mourton generously offered to walk the pardoned widow home. As Simon was leading her by the arm, he heard a rattle within her coat sleeve. He pulled from her coat the English translations, the same materials they had been teaching their children. Even though she had just escaped a death sentence, she subsequently refused to part with the translations, believing her children still needed to know the truth of God’s Word. Her fate was now sealed.
Shortly after, the six men and the courageous widow were secured to three wooden poles and burned alive.
We live in a digital age of home alarm systems that rival the complexity of most banks. What we value is clear—our homes and our belongings are too precious to risk being lost. Yet, to Christians living in the sixteenth century, Scripture was their most prized possession. Like the tenacious widow in this story, they considered mere pieces of the Bible worth the cost of their lives. While the times may have changed, the value of God’s Word has not. Our lives must still demonstrate to others that God’s Word is precious—though we are unlikely to die in doing so. Do others know how much or little you treasure Scripture? Can they tell the personal value God’s Word has in your life?