What I Learned from Robin Hood

Yesterday, during my lunch break, I decided to watch an episode of BBC's Robin Hood. It is a good, clean show and caters to my love of all things medieval. On this particular episode, and abbot of the church was secretly translating the Bible into English. If you're familiar with history, you'll realize the reason he was doing this secretly was because the church was against people reading the Bible for themselves. The philosophy of the church of that day was that it was up to the clergy to read and interpret the Bible and teach the people according to their interpretation. (Unfortunately, this is still a typical practice of the Catholic church.) The available copies of the Bible were written in Latin, which very few could read.

This particular abbot, however, did not agree with the teachings of the church and felt that every man and woman should be able to read the Bible for themselves. By translating the Bible into English, he was risking a great deal, including his very life. The thing that truly amazed me during the episode was the response of Robin Hood and his men when they discovered the abbot's secret. They were in awe at the possibility of being able and allowed to read God's Word for themselves. They simply couldn't believe it. Over and over again, they uttered the phrase, "This will change everything." And as we know from our history, it did.

As the show ended, I turned to my husband with tears in my eyes. "It really makes you see how much we take things for granted. Here, these men couldn't believe that they could actually have a Bible in their language that they could read for themselves. Yet we, having more Bibles that we can count, leave them unread and sitting on the shelves collecting dust. These men were willing to die for the chance to read God's Word, yet we can't find time in our busy schedules to read a few verses and meditate on God's promises. We think we've progressed so far, but I fear when it comes to the things that really matter, we have backtracked. What a sad commentary for the human race!

I don't know about you, but I am no longer content to leave my Bible on the shelf where it can collect dust. Now, more than ever, I realize that it is so much more than just a book. It is a love letter from my heavenly Father. It is a book of remembrance of the things my mighty God can accomplish. It is an instruction manual for how I should live my life. It is my light in the darkness and my road map when all seems lost. It is a collection of His promises and encouraging words, as well as warnings and directions to keep me safe. It is a gift from my Savior, and I'm finished taking it for granted.

Lord, please forgive me for not realizing how precious your Word is to me. Forgive me for not remembering how much blood was shed so that I could hold a copy of the Bible in my hands and read it for myself. Help me not to take that privilege for granted. I long to read Your Word, to immerse myself in Your promises. I want to meditate on everything You have to say to me, understanding that the Bible is timeless and its truths are as relevant today as they have ever been. Please, Lord, help me to not let other things distract me from spending time in Your Word. And as I sit down with my Bible in hand, please help me to have the attitude of Robin Hood and his men – this will change everything!