Prayer for the Day Script - 14th November 2018
The American journalist Nellie Bly was a force to be reckoned with. And on this day in 1889, she set about bringing literature to life in a rather unorthodox way, beginning a 25000 mile journey around the world, in an attempt to beat Phileas Fogg’s fictitious record of 80 days.
It was really a publicity stunt for her newspaper, the New York World. They ran a competition for the public to guess exactly when she would return.
She did get a little bit distracted along the way, visiting a leper colony in China and taking time to purchase a monkey in Singapore, and when she eventually arrived in San Francisco, her employer chartered a private train to make sure she would actually beat the 80 day target. And beat it she did, with 8 days to spare.
Most of her more serious work was driven by a desire to expose the truth. A pioneer of modern investigative journalism, she went undercover to highlight the poor conditions for women working in factories, and even feigned insanity to expose the cruelty and neglect in an asylum. Her book, 10 days in a Madhouse led to significant reforms.
Our society sometimes devalues the currency of honesty, but for most of us the truth is actually viscerally important. We complain about fake news. We get frustrated by broken promises. Devastated when lies destroy relationships.
Which is why it’s interesting that Jesus doesn’t just claim to tell the truth - he claims to be the Truth. And the integrity of His character is the basis of a life-changing faith for millions.
Lord, help us to treat the truth as a precious thing, for you have told us that when we know the truth, the truth will set us free.