Most of us have written something in the margin of a book or a Bible. As we read along we have thoughts and observations that we want to remember. We connect those thoughts and observations with what we are reading by making notes in the margins of the text. There is actually a term for this – it is called “Marginalia.” Marginalia is a term used to the describe the notes, scribbles and commentary that are written in the margins of a book.
Marginalia has been used to describe the illuminated manuscripts that were produced in Medieval times. These illuminated manuscripts hosted beautiful imprints of gold and silver in the margins of a book and helped illuminate what the text was saying. In some ways the marginalia of these illuminated texts is similar to the icons that have been used to describe the Biblical narrative. These illuminated texts are very valuable as an art form.
Each person has a text that describes their life. This life text defines the successes and failures that visit each of us as we walk upon planet Earth. Along with a life text we also have margins on the pages of our lives that have yet to be written upon. God has words of hope and destiny that He places into those margins that illuminate His purpose for us beyond what the text of our life reveals. The Church has been called to prophesy God’s heart into the margins of people’s lives.
The gift of prophecy is described by Paul in I Corinthians 14: 3, “But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them.” The gift of prophecy was given to the Church to illuminate the life text of the people in our family, our workplace and those living in the distant corners of this world. God uses the gift of prophecy to write in the margins of a life and illuminate something in the text that connects what is written with the heart and purpose of God.
Sometimes we don’t understand the text of our lives – the text doesn’t make sense. When the word of prophecy comes and fills in the margins of our lives, our life text is illuminated with things that bring us strength, courage and comfort. Something wonderful and supernatural takes place when we know that God sees more for us than we can see for ourselves.
Whenever God has us speak a word of hope to another person, God uses those words as His pen to write His destiny into the margins of someone’s life. When God speaks into the margins of a life, the text of that life becomes an illuminated document.