Last week as I was leaving work to go catch the bus, I ran into a group of Gideon men giving out small orange New Testaments. I took one and stuck in my purse (where it still is today) and walked to the bus stop. This bus stop is within a block of the high school so as I waited there it began to fill up with high schoolers who had also received their free Bibles. Here are some of the reactions I saw:
1. One girl, who obviously has some talent as a drama queen, came up with to several of of her friends ranting at quite a loud volume about the inappropriateness of handing out New Testaments on a Jewish holiday. This led to a discussion about the different religions present at the school. One boy nearby stated that if you weren’t Jewish or Muslim, you were therefore Christian. The reactions from the group around him, quickly caused him to state that he was joking.
2. Another boy, hoping to entertain/impress the nearby group of girls, began to read out loud from the Bible in his best TV preacher style. This included a good amount of pacing and holding his fingers in a peace sign above his head. Apparently he started in the Gospels (Luke, I think) because he kept talking about Emperor Pilates (pronounced like the exercise) , which I quickly realized was his pronunciation of Pontius Pilate (sounds like pilot).
3. A little while later I overheard one boy telling another that he planed to take the book home to his mother and tell her he had found a new faith, because she was an observant Jew and this would obviously annoy her.
4. While one student did toss his Bible to anther student and I heard one student talk about tearing out some of the pages, I didn’t see anyone actually destroy their copy. In fact several appeared to be reading it, or at least picking out interesting passages.
5. After the bus finally arrived and the 30 waiting students and myself got on, I noticed a boy from my church engaged in lengthy discussion with another student about the New Testament.
6. A few days after the Free Bible Day, I was in the library at school when one of our students (a recent immigrant from Asia) came up to me and asked if we had any Bibles in the collection. He had been reading the New Testament he recieved the other day and wanted a book that had larger type and an old testament. After showing him wear the Bibles were on the shelves he asked me a few questions about all the different versions we had and said he thought the book was interesting.