Harry Potter and Mary Jones

July 14, 2000
by Mary Jane Hanson

Acts 12:24 – Meanwhile the word of God continued to spread and grow. (GNB)

The biggest literary event in the year 2000 will undoubtedly be the release of 5.3 million copies of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on July 8th in Canada, the United States, and Britain. This 700-page book is available in forty languages. The entire Harry Potter series has children excited about reading. I suspect that, although the wait for the fourth book in the series was a minor inconvenience and many children saved their allowance to purchase the book, the experience pales in comparison to that of a Mary Jones, age 10, who lived in Wales in 1794.

Mary's greatest desire was to have a Bible in her own language. She walked two miles each morning to school so that she could learn to read. Once Mary could read, she worked and saved her money for six years so that she could purchase her Bible. Two hundred years ago, in 1800, she walked twenty-five miles, barefoot, to purchase a Bible. God used Mary as the inspiration behind the formation of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Mary's story is incredible. The work of the Bible Societies throughout the world has aided in propelling the Bible to the top of the all-time bestseller list. If today's children had the same desire to read the Bible as they do to read the Harry Potter books, then the Bible would be this week's best seller too.

Prayer: Loving God, help us all to have a greater desire to read your word. May we become enthusiastic in reading and sharing the good news with other people.

About the author:

Mary Jane Hanson <mjh013@sasktel.net>
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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