Last night I was on a panel of Christians answering questions on why trust the Bible, (believe me I have no idea why I get myself in these situations). I’m not the greatest fan of being on such panels (mainly because of my pride in hating looking stupid in front of people), I generally forget simple answers to questions like “why are you a Christian?”, or “why did Jesus have to die”, you know, unimportant unlifechanging questions like that. My mind goes blank and I can never think of anything useful to say except 3 days later. ANyway, this isn’t a blog post about my inability to be articulate on demand.
This is a post wishing things could have gone differently. Wishing that amidst the important stating of the reasons why the Bible is trustworthy from a historical and archeological basis we’d covered more reasons to read the Bible. I wish we’d told stories of how this book is freakishly lifechanging, stories of how God has wooed us in it, challenged us through it, walked off the pages into our lives and more. I wish we’d shown that this is a book with power, a book to be taken seriously, a book which is dangerous and subversive to read, I wish we’d made more of it’s speaking to every human condition, more of the God who reveals himself in it, more of the wonder of the massive story of redemption, love, hope and justice contained within it’s pages, I wish we’d talked of the Father who wrote so much to remind us of reality, to speak to us of His love and call for us to come home. I wish we’d talked of the hope on offer, the deep reality that our lives are eternal and how our decisions have consequences. I wish I’d talked of the affect the words on a page have on me, to move me, to make me cry, laugh, mourn, dance and more, because this book is infected with the Spirit who brings to life words on a page. No other book has this much power, this much influence, this much reality.
I guess part of the reason we love other books, other words, and what they do to us inside is because they speak of the truth of the human condition, they speak truth about our experiences and because they point us to the greater story of our lives. Last night I wish we’d explored the stories, the words, the power and beauty of a God communicating with his people and his battle to bring us home. I wish we talked more of the God the Bible brings to us.
This morning I read one verse from this book and it grabbed me, shoved me against a wall and got in my face about where exactly I was seeking refuge, was it in my Maker, my true shelter, my defender, or in TV to bring me peace hope and joy. Thinking about it now it seems obvious which one to choose, but all last week I chose the latter rather than the former. This morning one verse turned my world the right way up, reminded me of reality and caused me to seek God, to enjoy his refuge and love and turn from stuff that just isn’t as satisfying or thirst quenching. I wish I’d talked more of that kind of affect of the Bible last night.
Forgive us Lord for making your life giving Word a little bit dull. Forgive us for the abomination that is and please encounter us with You through it each day. Remind us of the power of your Word of life.