Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Biden’s Bible

The Big Idea: Those sworn into office often use a special Bible. The Bibles chosen teach us a bit about Bible history through the centuries. 

Biden's Family Bible

Today when President Biden was sworn in, he chose a precious family heirloom that has been in his family since 1893. A five inch or so thick family Bible with clasps of Celtic crosses. Presidents and other State officials are not required to be sworn in on a Bible. They can choose a meaningful book if they wish. Most choose a Bible and some ask that it be opened to a verse in the Psalms or another verse special to them. The President elect is privy to choose a historic Bible from our nation's history. The most used Bible is the one that George Washington used. Another popular choice is a Bible of Abraham Lincoln. A Bible chosen can reflect a bit about the spiritual history of our nation as well as the sacredness of the oath.

President Biden chose a Bible that has been important in his family. It has all the important family events written in it, and it has been used every time he was sworn in to an office. There is a photo of him with the Bible in 1973 when he was sworn in to the Senate. His son Beau Biden also used this family Bible when he was sworn into office. I may be presuming, but I believe that in this choice, President Biden has hopes that he can have an impact on unifying and building up the American family, the family of our nation and the nuclear family of American households. Whatever that looks like in our diverse world, focus on the family is where we should find safety, love and belonging.

The Family Bible is a Douey Reimes Haydock Edition. The Douey Reimes translation has traditionally been used by Catholics. The Haydock Edition is remarkable in that it includes a Catholic Commentary, an Illustrated Catholic Bible Dictionary, and a history of each book of the Bible. It also has charts and tables of measurements and other subjects. The comments make up a considerable part of the Bible pages and in it was considered a superb guide to understanding the Holy Word of God. It is hopeful to think that back in its day it was poured over when there was little else to read, and brought insight and comfort to American families.

President Biden is the second Catholic President to become an American President. Some remember when the first Catholic President was elected, JFK. At the time there were those who thought life as we knew it as believers was coming to a close. I am thankful for a President today who takes his faith seriously and regularly attends church, even if his practice of it is a bit different than mine. I pray for him to go to God when he is heavy, with a need for guidance. May he surround himself with wise counselors.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior. I Timothy 2: 1-4 NLT

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1. Does your family have a Bible that has been passed on in the family? Have you ever considered the history of its use? Do you have Bible verses, prayers and faith practices that you pass on to your children?

2. Do you pray for your president, not matter if you agree with him or not? Please join me in praying for our president that the Lord will guide him and draw him closer in a relationship with Him. Pray that he will be a wise leader. 

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