Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Scripture Window Part 7
Rewind and review....Scripture is like a window to the outside and inside...it both reveals and reflects.
Scripture draws us closer to gaze through four window panes of head (includes questions and insights); heart (includes emotions roaming around within us and in the text itself); soul (that deeper, mysterious, almost inarticulate level where the deepest seeds of faith need to be tended); and now finally, story.
This takes us full circle. Scripture is a story that longs to connect with our individual and collective story/stories.
Returning again to Moses in the wilderness...
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
This story causes me to reflect on my story...of being in the wilderness as a teenager. I was in the Boundary Waters area of Minnesota by the Canadian boarder...God's country to be sure. It is the sort of place where so much of creation is burning with the splendor and spectacle of God's fingerprints. It was while I was there on a canoe trip that I heard God's call for ministry. While it wasn't from a burning bush, it was when the sun broke through rainy day. The ominous cloud, gray and threatening, hovered over head. The water churned and chopped, rocking the canoe. We were being tossed to and fro...it took all our effort to keep moving forward. At about the half-way point, when my muscles strained and suggested emphatically that we stop for the day, that the first ray of sun tentatively peaked through. It reflected off the water. Soon another ray, and another, and another. It was as if one at a time, the rays of sun were pushing the clouds away. By the time I reached to other side, the sun was on full display. I have witnessed amazing moments in my life (marriage and birth of children being one and two), but that "burning bush moment" will always stick and stay with me.
For Scripture to be holy, we need to let it get tangled and twisted with our story. So often when we read the Bible, we hold it at arms length. Like a frog in high school biology, we dissect Scripture, taking apart its phrases and words...debating it...deciding if we like it. I am not saying that all of Scripture makes you feel warm and fuzzy, a lot of it is frustrating...but so is life. And Scripture is a reflection of faith in real life of real people. Further, I am not saying you need to check your brain at the door. However, don't just engage Scripture as an intellectual exercise. This is a story of faith. Just like the one in the previous paragraph.
Is it true?
Well...it is to the best of my memory. But arguing about Scripture being factually true is not really where I am at any more. I want to dive deeper. I want to ask how is this true? When might this be true? When have I been there in my own life or heard something similar from someone else?
Those questions get me thinking and moving in a different way.
Those questions help me sense more than just a trace of God's grace in this world.
I pray these posts on Scriptural windows have been helpful. If you want to talk more, I would welcome hearing from you.
Grace and peace ~~