Why We Love the Bible!
“I find my delight in your commandments, because I love them. I revere your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.”
-Psalm 119:47-48 NRSV
We’ve spent the last two weeks of Deep Thoughts and the last 3 weeks of worship trying to dig deeper into what the Bible is, what it is not, and what it means for us, but this week I figured we needed something simpler. Something like:
Why do we, as clergy, love the Bible so much?
I’ll start by reminding us that we don’t worship the Bible, and (according to John’s Gospel) it is Jesus who is the “Word” of God, but I’ll continue by pointing out that we work really hard in our roles as pastors to bring you the truth of the Bible. Why?
The Bible holds so much weight with me for many of the reasons it confuses other people. I had someone once ask me, “Why would we pay so much attention to a book full of terrible people?” More than one person has told me, “It seems like we’re getting different messages in different books.” But I love that the Bible is a story of grace in a diversity of ways. I love that we don’t expect perfect people, only a God who loves people perfectly and gives them hope to love perfectly in moments along the way.
Ultimately, I’m also really captivated by Jesus. Having walked the Holy Land twice now, experiencing a land full of conflict as much as it was back when Jesus walked the same land – it just seems amazing that someone would preach and act “peace” in the midst of that situation. His message didn’t gain him anything. He was totally willing to give and serve. He taught that we should do the same, and it seems billions of people were starving for the same release from our human nature to conquer and destroy that they signed up for Jesus’ lifestyle – or at least the eternal life offered. Personally, it’s the heaven on earth message that I find only in the Bible that draws me closer. I would have loved to have seen the early church in action. I would have loved to have followed Jesus to see what this vision of life looks like in reality. Fortunately, I’ve had glimmers along the way – but its the Bible that sparks my imagination most vividly.
Now, let’s hear from Pastor Wendy:
When I was in elementary school We did a personal time capsule. My grandmother wrote me a letter. My grandmother has long gone to heaven. But every once in awhile I unfold the very old paper and read the words from my Grandmother. I can no longer see her. But I can read her wise and sweet words to me. It gives me great comfort.
For me the Bible is like that. I can’t see Jesus. But wow HIS words were remembered and written down!!
Jesus said ” Love the Lord your God … Matthew 22: 37-40
Jesus said ” In the same way let your light shine … ” Matthew 5:6
We have Jesus’s very words to comfort, lead, and guide us. The Bible brings me close to God because in there He speaks to us and none of Jesus’s words are outdated. They ring true today and will forever bring meaning to people’s lives. My grandmother always said A well-worn Bible is a good sign of Jesus talking and someone listening !!
And, Pastor Keri Lynn:
John Wesley once said, “Scripture contains all things necessary for salvation and holiness of heart and life.” — and I tend to agree. I grew up knowing the Bible was important, but it wasn’t until I started reading it for myself when I was a senior in high school that I started to love it. I first read through the entire book of Proverbs, reading one chapter a day, which had me completing the book within a month. I started to truly see that the Bible had something to say about my life, even when I had thought my modern situations were too much for the Bible to say anything about. The Bible has something to say about stress, feeling unlovable, great celebrations, and unlimited grace. The Bible also tells me how to live, the way to treat other people, encourage others to use their gifts, and how to faithfully bring up the next generation(s) to live out God’s Kingdom here on earth.
What about you?
How do the stories and wisdom in the Bible inspire you?