How do you personalize the Bible’s teaching? Do you pick the stories and verses you like to make an example out of your own goodness? Maybe you just mentally cut and paste the ones that challenge you too much?
A couple year ago I had the chance to view the Jefferson Bible. Thomas Jeffereson literally cut and paste to create a story of Jesus that was more palatable to his intellectual sensibilities. (You can read more about it here.) Initially I was high and mighty about it, but couldn’t stay that way long. My life leaves so many truths on the editing room floor.
There are hard truths about God in The Book, to be sure. A commitment to loving and living by the Bible demands resolve. It tells us stories that challenge our modern sensibilities. Stories that fling us into unsolvable mysteries. Stories that awaken us to sin and pain and brokenness.
If you want to stay a coward, don’t go reading your Bible. You’ll discover God in The Book. He probably won’t be at all like you thought he’d be. After the resurrection, the Gospel of Matthew records, “When they saw him, they worshipped; but some doubted” (Matthew 28:17). What you read in the Bible can lead you to worship…or to doubt.
I pray you will be brave. Be brave in seeking God. If you’re brave, you’ll find his beauty overcoming the sin and pain and brokenness. He can lead you to worship.
When I read about slavery in the Bible, I find worship hard. Today I am also sharing at Pick Your Portion about how God met me with patient grace on a journey through Exodus 21 that led from doubt to worship. Will you come join me over there?
There is hope for you to find worship in all your doubting places. Open The Book. Seek and Find. Yes, be brave.
I’m joining Margaret for the #LentChallenge of reading the New Testament in forty days. It’s not too late for you to join us. Today’s reading is Matthew 25-28.