How does God’s Word find us? We find God’s word first of all in the Living Word – Jesus Christ. He is the embodiment of all that God wants to communicate to His creation in general and to His chosen people in particular. This is the most important expression of the Word of God because Jesus is living and in the business of changing lives forever.

We also hear God’s word through the Spoken Word. This could be the preached word or in conversations with other Christians. We often ignore this word from God because (1) we stopped really listening to the preacher years ago—he’s just creating feel-good treatises loosely based on an ancient text anyway, right? (2) We don’t expect God to speak to us through the mouths of the theologically ignorant—people like us who don’t really understand the Bible. Besides, if I wanted to listen to a sermon I go and hear what the preacher has to say (let me direct you to #1 above).

And finally, God reveals His Word to us is through the Bible, God’s Holy Word (Go ahead say the VBS pledge with me, if you remember it, “I pledge allegiance to the Bible . . .”). Our problem with this hinges on my already stated point—it’s an ancient text. Is it really relevant today? After all, it was written nearly 2000 years ago, in the Middle East and Mediterranean area, by Jews who didn’t know me or even suspect me, in languages that are dead or dying. What could it possibly say to me? Well, that’s what today’s post is all about: seeing the Scripture through our new, spiritual eyes.

Of course every religion, or faith, or tradition has its own version of what they call scripture. Our focus for the next few moments will be on the Scripture canonized by the early Christian Church that has been handed down through a variety of means from generation to generation and we in the Christian Faith revere as the Holy Bible. Why do we need to see the scripture through new eyes? I would argue that we have a whole host of misconceptions and preferences that cloud our view of the Bible. When I was a kid we sang “The Bible is a Treasure Book . . .” and that’s a nice thought, but it brings to mind something that is hidden away—and sometimes we don’t want the message of the Bible to be hidden, but broadcast.

Most American children—or at least the ones who grew up in my part of the culture—are familiar with some sort of Bible Storybook that took some of the favorite stories from the Scripture and endeared them to children by retelling them with pictures that they children can relate to. Specific stories that often caught the attention of little boys like me included “Daniel in the Lions Den” which told of the destruction of the ones who had conspired to have Daniel thrown into the pit for praying but didn’t include that gory picture. Likewise, there was the tale of David and Goliath—that ends with David cutting off his enemy’s head with Goliath’s own sword (but the illustration had the shepherd boy standing near the stream with his slingshot in hand, not the triumphant warrior lopping off the fallen foe’s head).

My point: we like to dress up the scripture, make it more palatable. We want our children to learn it, but we don’t want them (or ourselves) exposed to the sometimes gruesome truths held there. For instance, we love to concentrate on the Love of God (it’s in there, take a look), but we’d just as soon skip over the His Wrath (don’t miss out on what happens when we don’t respond to His love His way). So why don’t we go back to Vacation Bible School and take a longer look at the third pledge—the one that everybody has to read from the screen (no problem with the pledge to the American flag, it’s part of morning routines at school if sometimes controversial; and we can remember most of the words to the pledge to the Christian flag even if they did change them about twenty or thirty years ago, but by the time we get to the Bible we’re all tired, and again—it’s just an ancient text, right?).

I pledge allegiance to the Bible (I will make the Bible an important part of my life, why? Because it’s. . .)

God’s Holy Word (that means it comes to us from the Maker, and it’s important to Him)

And will make it a lamp unto my feet (this word illuminates where I am)

A light unto my path (It also lights up where I want to go)

And will hide its words in my heart (this is the good kind of hiding—making the Bible an intricate part of my total being)

That I may not sin against God(God’s Word—the Bible—keeps us in tune with Him).

So what this means is that we need to approach the Bible with a different viewpoint. It’s good to read it. It’s even better to study it. It’s best, though, to make it the “go to” place for advice on how to live, what to do, and where to be. The difficulty for most of us is that reading, studying and applying the Bible to our lives requires work. Work that involves sacrifice, adjustment, and relinquishing our own personal preferences to the one who wrote the book. We read all kinds of books that tell us how to make life better, but I think that if we’d take a new look into God’s word—see it with new eyes—we might find we don’t need so many self-help best-sellers. Here’s a thought from an old children’s song:

Get the new look from the old Book

Get the new look from the Bible

Get the new look from the old Book

Get the new look from God’s Word.

The inward look, the outward look,

The upward look from the old, old Book.

Get the new look from the old Book

Get the new look from God’s Word.

Advertisements