Fall has arrived here at Messiah University. While October is known for the spooky season of Halloween, many other odd holidays exist throughout the month, providing us with easy and fun ways to celebrate.
Starting off the month, Oct. 1 serves as Bring Your Bible to School Day. Because Messiah strives to integrate faith and learning, this holiday is fitting for our campus and easy for students to celebrate.
Focus on the Family, a global Christian ministry group, sponsors this holiday, uplifting students to express their beliefs and share with others the truth of God’s Word.
“As a professor of Hebrew Bible, I am deeply invested in Scripture, how we read and understand it, and how we respond to what we find in its pages,” the Department Chair of Biblical and Religious Studies and Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible Brian Smith said. “I am also interested by the role that the Bible plays in society.”
Last year in the U.S., about 670,000 students from kindergarten to college and their families participated in the movement. Being involved encourages other Christians and helps celebrate religious freedoms in the United States.
“The event is evangelistic, but also intentionally connected to the ‘religious freedom’ conversation taking place in our society,” Smith said. “I imagine that students studying sociology, political science, U.S. history, etc., would want to consider the event in light of the church/state separation that we enjoy here.”
Smith also brings up a great point about the presence of a variety of religious practices within the U.S.
“I also wonder whether Jewish and/or Muslim students would be interested in similar ‘Take your Torah’ or ‘Carry your Koran’ events,” Smith said. “What a great opportunity for interfaith dialogue!”
Participating in Bring Your Bible to School Day is simple, but can entail a little bit more than just bringing your Bible to class.
Focus on the Family makes some suggestions as to how students can celebrate, such as providing an extra Bible to give away to someone or writing down and passing out some favorite Bible verses.
“Obviously, one of the best ways to celebrate Bring Your Bible to School Day is to do just that—bring your Bible to School, even if you’re not taking a class in Biblical Studies or Theology right now,” Smith said. “Or better yet, add a minor or double-major in Biblical and Religious Studies!”
In the wake of COVID-19 and Messiah’s efforts to keep our campus safe, students can safely create faith-based conversations by setting up a Zoom call with friends to discuss their favorite Bible verses or meeting outside, socially distancing with their Bibles and talking about all things Christ.
Spread the word about God’s love and spend some time with the Bible to celebrate today.