Categories
the Bible

Begin well

The Bible isn’t a novel. It’s not meant to be read from beginning to end.

If you “start at the very beginning”, it probably isn’t “the very best place to start.”

The Bible does have a plot, a story that develops over thousands of years. But it’s really important to know the end of the story first. Knowing the end puts all the parts in perspective.

There is no bonus for being held in suspense about how the story ends.

Remember from last week: the whole point of the Bible is to lead us to Jesus, who described himself as “the beginning and the end.” As best we can, let’s make our reading begin and end with him.

The end of the Bible is Jesus. The whole story is about him. The beginning, the middle, the end – all about him…so we can know him.

So, to begin well let’s choose one of the four Gospels. I suggest starting with John or Mark.

Start with John to focus on who Jesus is. John had an especially close relationship with him and gives us a unique perspective. John adopted Jesus’ mother Mary into his home – I wonder how much his writing passes along Mary’s reflections.

Start with Mark if you prefer to focus on what Jesus did. They say that Mark’s gospel is likely to reflect Peter’s telling of events; Peter is a “get it done” kind of person.

Which ever one you pick, don’t rush. Give yourself time to pause, question, ponder.

Most importantly, pay attention to what your inner voice might be saying. You are reading to get to know a Person, not to pass a test.

I hope you find this hodgepodge of thoughts helpful. Grace and peace to you…

dw

Categories
Poetry Scripture

Self-isolation

Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him.

1 John 2:15-17 – Peterson, Eugene H.. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language . The Navigators. Kindle Edition.

Who would have thought
when I wear a mask
I don't hide behind it
but instead flash a broad smile:
you are important to me

when I stay home
self-isolating
I reach out:
I care for you this much

Who would have thought
when I deny myself
bear the inconvenient cross before me
(the world behind me)
I follow my Maker
embracing the world
and you

Whoever would have thought 
or said
such a thing?

dw