I LOVE the Bible. Duh. But...
What is the Bible? Is it a collection of ancient stories, laws and myths? Is it writings and musings from a bygone age that helped people cope with the harsh realities of pre-modern life? Is it God’s love letter to his children? Is it God’s perfect instructions to us meant to govern all our actions and choices, to be followed to the letter? Is it God breathed and useful for teaching and instruction? Is it a collection of different types of literature written in different times in different places by different people all trying to communicate and explain their experience of God which was somehow made most real in Jesus?
What is your experience of the Bible? What are your feelings of the Bible? Is it something that guides your life? Is it a place you go to for inspiration and spiritual uplifting? Is it something someone has used to judge you? Is it something that makes you feel less than, left out, or unwanted? Is it a place you go to meet God, to understand better the character of God? Is it something that surprises you, stretches you, challenges you, where new things are discovered in every reading and you come to see yourself in God in new and beautiful ways?
I love the Bible. Which, I get, is totally what you’d expect a pastor to say. But for real, I love the Bible. I love that it challenges me. I love that it confronts me. I love that it mirrors my life in ways in which I fail, ways in which I am faithful, and ways in which I am loved by God. I love that after years of living with and reading this book, I am still surprised. I love that there is a story about a talking donkey in there.
This month we are going to be reading a bunch of stories from the Bible. Some are challenging. Some are confusing. Some will make you want to pull your hair out. Some will make you feel loved beyond measure. Some will make you want to curl in a ball lest anyone see you the way the Bible has just seen you. All of them are deep. All of them are surprising. All of them are filled with grace and mercy and love. All of them reveal a God who loves us, all of us, beyond measure.
I invite you in the coming weeks to come fall in love with the Bible. Whatever you think about it now, whatever your experience with it up to this point, come discover the depth and beauty of these stories. Come discover what they reveal about God. Come discover what they reveal about us. And come discover if there isn’t more to the Bible.
I love the Bible. I think you will too. Come and see.