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Bible Sunday: Two points to ponder

August 3, 2013

1. To read the bible is to pray. If you’re not praying when you read the bible you’re not really reading it as a Christian. So read it slowly. God speaks through it. That’s why we call it the Word of God. Not because God wrote it. Not because it’s infallible, like some divine science text-book. But because God speaks to us through it. And God speaks through it because it is bound up, like no other book is, to God’s work of communicating to the world and changing human beings – in particular because of the way it is bound up with Jesus. So when you read the Bible you are praying, listening. Slow down.

 

2. To read the bible as scripture is to read it in the presence of the risen Jesus. It’s not just any old god of our own imagination that we pray to as we read scripture. Jesus is present by the Spirit. Jesus speaks through scripture. The church has always, from its earliest days, looked for Jesus everywhere in the bible, even in the Old Testament… hints of what is to come. There’s a unified message to it all that we will never see unless we read it in the presence of the risen Jesus. Jesus, where are you in this passage? There is a specifically Christian way to read the Bible. The Bible is not a puzzle to solve, to master. It’s a place of relationship… of prayer.

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