“It burns, it burns!” the boy yelled as he ran towards his mother.
His mother held him and asked “what’s the matter?”
“I was drinking orange juice and then it just started hurting.”
Confused, the mother took a moment to think and then asked.
“How did you drink it?”
“Through my nose with a straw.”
The real issue here is obvious. There is nothing wrong with orange juice. There’s nothing wrong with trying to drink it. But how you drink it is of utmost importance.
This morning I was reading my Bible. Well, listening, to be honest. I use an app with the daily office readings, good Anglican that I am. I usually make it through about three of the five allotted daily chunks of scripture. The couple I leave for the evening often lose out to Netflix in bed, which I hate. I digress.
This morning included Isaiah 5 and I found myself thinking “am I getting anything out of this?”
I then paused to examine the thinking and motivation behind it. “To get something out of it.” Hmm…
Now, on one hand I think that’s a perfectly reasonable line of thinking. “Either this thing is useful or it isn’t and if it’s not it should get the boot.” Totally rational and logical.
On the other hand that could be totally off.
Consider Jesus and his harsh words toward the pharisees. He yelled at them, not for knowing the scriptures well, not because they had the wrong text, but because they failed to see him in it. They watched Mission Impossible and never noticed Tom Cruise.
It’s actually pretty hilarious if you think about it. I wonder if Jesus was thinking something like:
“Are you kidding me? Are you for real? I can’t even…”
But back to this morning. I’m reading, I’m frustrated, I wonder. And then, like I have maybe a thousand times on the low estimate, I remind myself why the heck I read the Bible at all. It’s to know God. Turns out the way you do it is actually really important. Your heart’s posture is crucial.
Now, don’t crucify me for heresy or anything, but I’m convinced the primary reason to read the Bible is not to get your theology exactly right.
Imagine Moses being allowed to see God’s glory. The rest of the Israelites ask:
“Moses is your doctrine just completely straightened out now? Are you more a calvinist or arminian? Just how important is tithing exactly?”
Moses’ response would probably be similar to Jesus’ towards the Pharisees.
“Guys for real? How are you missing this? I was just saw God. Like THE God. … and it took my breath away!”
So, this morning I wondered if the Bible is really more akin to looking into the eyes of your lover than memorizing a multiplication table. You wouldn’t say to your wife or husband of twenty five years “gee, I’m tired seeing they pretty little speck of green in your eyes. Boring.” Of course not. Within that gaze there is always greater knowing and greater discovery to be had.
Jesus, word of God, thank you that you’re a person, you’re alive, moving, real and now. May you invade more and more of my person, bringing me more and more to life as you are. Amen.