A few weeks ago, I had the neat opportunity to see the personal Bible of the Rev. Archibald Stobo. Stobo was from Scotland, and in the fall of 1699, he and his wife Elizabeth were part of a struggling colony on the Isthmus of Panama. The colony failed, and they were returning home when they ducked into Charleston Harbor to wait out a hurricane. While in the harbor, Stobo, his wife, and a few others came ashore to perform a wedding, but the ship with everyone else on board was blown out to sea and perished.
What did Stobo do? For a while, he served at a downtown church (now Circular Church), and then he set out to establish Presbyterian churches around Charleston and all the way up to Walterboro. John’s Island Presbyterian traces their heritage back to Stobo.
Stobo’s Bible is cared for by the SC Historical Society, and it is a fascinating piece. I am glad they were willing to pull it from the archives and show it to our group of pastors. Although I could not handle it, open it, or publish the picture I took of it, there was one detail that was most interesting to me.
It’s obvious that the Bible is most worn in the middle. It’s the middle where the binding is broken and the edges of the pages are most worn. I believe it is that way because Stobo, like most pastors of his day, would have immersed himself in the Psalms. Right in the middle of the Bible, the Psalms were his prayerbook. In a failed colony, he prayed the Psalms. In the loss of a ship and his community, he prayed the Psalms. Planting churches in the new world, he prayed the Psalms.
So, how’s your life today? How’s your prayer life today? Find the prayers for life right in the middle of the Bible. Pray the psalms.
Yours in Christ,