The Bible is kind of a big deal. But reading it can be tough. There’s parts that go down nice and easy, verses that offer up practical wisdom on doing life. And there’s other parts that are just beautiful to read – we’re talking about you Psalms! 😉
We can get down with the motivational bits right? The kind of verses you’d see on a meme or can stick on your Pinterest wall. But then there’s some seriously challenging parts of the Bible; some bits that are just outright confusing, and entire verses that are just lists of names or places.
So how is all this stuff that happened thousands of years ago relevant to our lives now?
The people that wrote the Bible never had to deal with half the stuff we do today. No snapchat, Facebook or Insta – in fact forget about social media altogether. And the internet? Non-existent (can you imagine!? Where would we watch all those cat videos?) These people would never have seen a jumbo jet, experienced global warming, or had to worry about nuclear bombs, eyebrows being on fleek or the Kardashians.
A rather clever chap, Peter Enns, puts it like this: “The Bible is not a Christian owner’s manual but a story–a diverse story of God and how his people have connected with him over the centuries, in changing circumstances and situations.”
Now that sounds more relatable, right?
Admittedly there’s a bit of a gap in time, culture, geography and language for our 21st Century understanding. But what we love about the Bible is that it’s full of stories about people, people who had hopes, dreams, and a whole heap of flaws and questions – just like us. Struggling to understand God, life, happiness and pain, all that stuff that we sometimes squash down in our deepest being. It’s an age old ache. And us humans have never really gotten to the bottom of it.
When we read the Bible we get this amazing insight into what life with God has looked like throughout history. We see His compassion, kindness, greatness, largeness, mercy, justice and unfailing love is unwavering, even when us humans least deserve it. He is constant from beginning to end. Most importantly, we see our role in God’s Kingdom, and how our lives are jam-packed with purpose and meaning!
So have fun interpreting, exploring and experiencing the words in the Bible. Talk it out with friends. Ask questions. Get curious. Pray. And stick at it. Like anything worthwhile – it takes commitment on our part. But the fruits of that effort will be totally worth it.
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