Those of you who know me know that I’m obsessed with the Bible. I even collect versions of it, and seem to have every possible translation in every imaginable format– pocket Bibles, study Bibles, devotional Bibles. I love to not only collect them, but also purchase them for others. If you approach me expressing an interest in the Bible and ask for my opinion, I will not only bore you with my endless opinions, I will also likely go out and buy you a version I think is just right for you. For better or worse, I’m a willing and active participant in this thriving cottage industry.
But I was reflecting on why I love the Bible so much and there are many reasons. Obviously, it is my dream to become a pastor one day, but I also think it comes down to the fact that the Bible is the one place where I know–I am promised- that God will speak to me. In this day and age, when consistency is hard to come by, trends come and go, and our moral foundations let’s just say, leave a lot to be desired, it is a source of comfort to know there is a collection of divinely inspired words; messages and stories that allow God to speak to us, to instruct us, to comfort us, and to guide us.
Centuries of forefathers and leaders in the faith (my faith, I should clarify) have affirmed this truth. So to gather around this collection of books which we have agreed to be holy, is to participate in an ongoing and sacred conversation that I feel so privileged to be part of. Indeed there are many who do and will disagree about its interpretation. That’s fine. Because I believe it is in the dialogue and in the wrestling and searching for truth that God reveals God’s self in very real and intimate ways.
As human beings, we crave meaning and truth; we long for comfort and peace. We enjoy being challenged and entertained. Our hearts are awakened when we share in the experiences of others as they live their lives and encounter the divine in the everyday AND the extraordinary. For me, the Bible does all of this. I invite you, too, to check it out. Don’t be discouraged or intimidated. Just pick one up and start with one of the Gospels. Maybe read a few Psalms. If you want, you can start with Genesis and keep going. Either way, the Holy Spirit will take over and lead you on an incredible journey. You won’t regret it. Just don’t ask me to help you find one. You’ve been fairly warned. Blessings.