Just the Word-A Good Friday Lesson

April 10, 2009

This past weekend, my wife and I took our children to Lifeway Christian stores.  As part of our Easter gift to them, we let each of the three pick out a new Bible.

The oldest, Braxton, is especially interested in reading things for himself.  After some bantering back and forth, he had his hopes locked in on a particular Bible that had a lot of pictures and very few words.  We looked around a bit and found the new Veggie Tales Bible which is a nice transition from the kids’ Bible to the more adult Bible.  One look at it, and he determined he didn’t want it.

I decided to work some “parental magic” on him and diplomatically got him to bring the Veggie Tale Bible with him as we walked over to where the Adult Bibles were.  I picked up one of the NIVs off of the shelf and sat down with him.  I selected a Scripture passage in the bible I had and had Braxton turn to the same passage in his.  Since I knew how much Braxton wanted to learn about Scripture, I thought the best way to get him to step up is to show him how similar the Veggie Tales Bible was to the “big person Bible.”

After I read the passage from the Bible I had, Braxton read the same passage out of his and instantly, his little face brightened with a smile.  Now, as a parent, I thought silently to myself, “I won!”  It was a short-lived victory because the lesson to be learned in this situation was not for Braxton, but rather more for me.

Braxton asked if he could look at my Bible and as he looked through it, he simply looked at me and said, “I don’t want the Veggie Tale Bible, I want this one.”  I spent some time trying to tell him that one was too old for him and that he needed to start out with the other one.  He said he didn’t want a Bible with any pictures in it.  Why?  His reason, simply put, struck my core.  With simple innocence, Braxton looked at me and gave me his reasoning:

“I just want the Word.”

I couldn’t hardly find any words to tell him no.  In fact, I was so busy trying to hold back tears that speaking was simply a bystander thought.  Granted, Braxton most likely meant he only wanted one with words, however, my spirit knew what Christ was saying through him to me.  And as you can see, a week later, the situation still consumes me.

How often do we spend Easter or Christmas focusing on what to wear to service, who’s going to get what, and what songs will be sung at church?  I know personally,  I have read several blogs this week talking about how to make the service more “attractive” or “inciting” to the visiting lost.  Churches will practice new songs, bring additional people into the choir, have additional services, but what is the real reason?

I guess as I sit and ponder upon Good Friday and think of Christ’ life, death, and resurrection, I am awestruck.  Jesus didn’t have the grand pianos, large choirs, or anything similar to Power Point, he simply had the Word.  After all, John 1 tells us he was the Word. And with only the Word, he drew masses of people.  In fact, you could say his sermon on the Mount was the first “mega-church.”

I am not, in any way, knocking the intense focus on making the Easter Celebration a grand event.  After all, it is worth more than any show, service, or anything we could ever put on.  I guess Braxton’s words just struck my core, challenging me to wonder how often I go to church looking for the “pictures on the page”.  Rather, I hope I begin having my heart, mind, soul, and flesh cry out, “I just want the Word.”

I sincerely hope you all have a great Easter…

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.


  1. Your story is a very moving one, Trent. Thank you for sharing it. My 7 year old daughter has had a fascination with the Holy Bible (NIV) since she was 4 or 5. When she was 4, she asked me, ‘What is this book?’ I told her simply that it is the greatest book ever written and that it is the Word of God, though I have not yet read it nearly thoroughly enough myself to be a good Christian example. That is changing … Well, she laid claim to a home copy of the NIV and put it in her room. Several nights a week she reads some of it to herself, entirely at her own initiative, then tells us a bit about it the next day, asking for some clarifications. It is truly amazing to watch God at work in her, and there are indeed many things we can learn about faith from our kids. I look forward to retelling your story to my family this evening at the dinner table.

    • Great story Jay. Thank you for sharing.

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