Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshipped the Lordwith their faces to the ground.“NIV

Sometimes, just the sight of my Bible on the desk next to me, or the feel of it in my hands, ignites a sense of joy which goes right through me and causes me to say inwardly, ‘I love this Book.’ I don’t report this to generate admiration in others, but simply to give testimony to the joy the Scriptures can bring to one heart. Of course, it is more than the sight, or the feel, of the Bible that should stoke the flames of gratitude and gladness; it is rather its contents that are the fuel for the flames. But that is why I regularly feel excited when I see my Bible – because it’s overall message is so overwhelmingly thrilling.

In today’s reading the response to God’s Word is joyful reverence. As you read your Bible, with an open heart, asking God to speak to you, at times you will want to lift up your hands in praise. At other times you may want to fall on your knees, and even on your face. Christian worship combines awe and intimacy.

Notice the people took their cue from Ezra. He led in praise, and they all ‘’responded’’. Leaders may well need to ‘eat last’ (as in a recent book title). But they must also go first – and others will follow.

PRAYER: Lord God, teach me to love your wonderful Book more and more. Indeed, teach me to love you, its Author, more and more. In its pages let me meet with you.