Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Scripture take two


Scripture as an offering and opening.
Scripture as an encounter and experience.
Scripture as an art of reading deeper.

When we read Scripture the first step is to slow down.  The prayerful practice of Lectio Divina (which means sacred reading) is one that emphasizes this.  Or as one author said, Scripture is about balancing information and formation.  It isn't only about trying to understand, but let these words seep and soak into our very lives.  This takes a different pair of eye glasses/lens.  When we read Scripture slowly, savoring the words...the images...the questions...and insights.

So often we are quick to turn to scholars or experts.  We trade in the common currency of the Reformed church that Scripture belongs to everyone, which is why Luther translated the Bible into German so everyone could read.  If we are too quick to shrug our shoulders and assume that the Bible is just ancient or arcane, we are letting go of something that still sings to our whole lives.  To sit with Scripture.  Don't rush through the words.  Don't jump to trying to figure out, "So what or why should I care?"  Listen to the words.  Let them linger even or especially if the words make you uncomfortable.  Sometimes the light that Scripture shines is bright and beautiful....other times it is blinding and baffling. 

Take each word...each verse...each chapter...each moment not as an end to your own self-improvement but as a witness to God.  Just as not every book or every interaction or every person is equally awesome, so too with the Bible.  Sometimes Jonah annoys us and other times can cause us to ponder what we are resisting.  Sometimes Paul frustrates us and other times he creates a vision of a world where the divisions are meant to disappear in the church community. 

But, reading slowly...at a savory pace...takes practice.  I often learn more when I talk to others or when I completely miss something in a story only to discover a deep truth now that makes me return to Scripture time and time again.

I encourage you to engage and encounter Scripture...opening and offering your whole self to these words.

Grace and peace ~~

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