Books, Books, Books

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
(Jorge Luis Borges)

One of the memorable and exciting experiences of my young life was the day that our librarian told me I was ready and took me upstairs to the young people’s and adult section of the town library. Age and time have no doubt edited that memory, but I think I was trembling a little as I followed her up the stairs. My fellow bookworms might well agree with the Argentinian writer, while most of you might be thinking, meh, not so much.  For all of you, let me point you to a library that does exist and is easily accessible to you: the GRC Library.

The library is located just off the fellowship hall, opposite the children’s check-in desk (it also hosts the Lost & Found, so that’s another reason for you to enter).  Our volunteer librarian has spent much thought, time, and energy to label and catalogue the resources the library provides (there are CDs and DVDs as well as books).  It is truly a work of love.

Contained within the library, and organized by sections, are Growth Group materials, Bible commentaries (Old and New Testament), general theological and practical Christian living books, parental dynamics books, children’s books, youth books, and assorted reference books.  The checkout register is on the credenza next to the basket for returning books.

Why do we have a church library?  Why do we devote time and space to it?  The library exists to provide resources for the spiritual and educational growth of the GRC church body and to enhance and promote the quality of ministry, discipleship, fellowship, and worship in the lives of church members and their families.  In other words, it is there for you!  You don’t have to buy these books, some of which can be fairly expensive.  They are there for you to freely borrow, enjoy, and profit from.

Our librarian tells me the two most frequently borrowed book types are children’s books and books on parenting.  That’s great to hear, and I hope that continues.  But I also hope—fervently hope—that more people will visit the library, take home some books, and read them (and return them!), and browse through the other sections of the library as well.  There are excellent books there, some of which I also own or which I have borrowed in the past.  Check them out!

There is one book that I think does not belong in the church library (or at least not only in the library), that I think each of you should purchase: the Bible.  Not only should you own a Bible, but you should also read it . . . every day!  I’m talking to you young people as well as to your parents.  As Jesus said (quoting the Old Testament), “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).  You wouldn’t think of going a day without food; don’t go a day without spiritual food either.

The church library is there to help you grow in your understanding of the Bible, in your worship of God, in your daily walk, in your service to others.  And to help your children in these ways as well. So please, visit the church library.  Browse the shelves.  Check out a book or two.  Say “Hi” to the occasional chess players there.  And maybe you’ll meet someone there (ask me and I’ll tell you about the two sweet friends that I first met there).

Steve Hoogerhyde serves as an Elder at GRC.