Yesterday I went out to lunch with some brothers. In the course of our fellowship an elderly lady who was serving tables came up and asked us about the Bible we had at out table. We told her it was a New Testament and she just smiled and shook her head in the affirmative. Her name was Faye and she was the sweetest lady you’ll ever meet. Later she came back and asked us what kind of Bible it was; more specifically, she wondered whether it was the King James version or not.
Perhaps you know the feeling that comes in a moment like this. In my neck of the woods the King James reigns supreme as God’s one and only inspired version of scripture-in the minds of most people at least. Men will argue and fight with you over this belief. Around here, then, when someone asks you about the kind of Bible you’re reading you can be pretty sure it’s because they’re a King James-only believer.
Anyway, you could sense this sister was of that persuasion. As soon as she asked us about the Bible and we told her it was not the King James but a different translation I could just sense the divide that might come between us, the same divide that separates so many Christians in my town. Yet she saw that we were sincere young brothers, and she was so pleased to meet us. She wanted to say something, yet she didn’t. So she just smiled and said, “I like the King James”. We responded with “Yes, the King James is a very beautiful version of scripture,” “we love the King James, too”, and I even told her that all the scriptures I still have committed to memory are from the King James version, since that is the one I read growing up.
Maybe you had to be there to get the impression of what I’m trying to convey, but it was a beautiful moment. She asked us where we go to church, and we told her we are simply members of the Body of Christ in Portsmouth (our town), and that we meet house to house with some other brothers and sisters but we are one with all believers, herself included. She smiled so big. We all said how nice it was to meet each other, and we parted ways with a blessing in Christ. As we walked out of the restaurant I turned to my brothers and said, “Look what just happened. We encountered one of the many issues that separate brothers and sisters from each other, and we transcended it in Christ!” What a small yet significant triumph that moment was!
Never have I been more convinced in my heart that this is the kind of testimony the Lord is seeking to have in every city on this planet. The testimony of a people reunited and made one in Christ… a new humanity with Him as Head. Brothers and sisters, let us pray and live toward this end!