Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Maybe it is all about me.

In a recent conversation, a friend remarked:

"As I was reading my Bible this morning, I felt like God was talking directly to me. But I don't really want to say that, because I know this was written to Israel, not to me. I don't want to take this out of context."

I can symapthize with her hesitancy to read the Bible "for herself." I grew up reading Scripture with the belief that there was something in there that would personally affect my life.

As I've grown older, I've worried that this was being ignorant and selfish. (No, Isaiah 40:30 was not written to encourage me to finish a hiking trail.) I've been trained to pull myself out of the Scriptures to search for the authors true intentions. While I have benefitted from this training, I've missed the "speaking into my life" quality the Bible can have.

This morning I read John 20:30-31
Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which
are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have
life in his name.

"You?" Does that "you" mean me? It seems to me like John is inviting...pleading with his reader to read herself into this book. This book was written in order for me to believe. For me to believe. I like that. Thanks for the permission, John.


Samuel Bills said...

Hey Mandy -
You're a liberated woman - I don't think you need permission from John. Oh wait you mean John the Gospel writer not John your husband :)
Good post - I too am excited to find out that Scripture does in fact include an invitation to do more than just discover the original meaning.

pk said...

For some reason the extreme abuses of this thinking come to mind: the Waco catastrophe and of course the laced Kool-Aid. Done in the name of Christ and per the Word of God. Nonetheless, I'm with you. Let's engage the original meaning AND allow the Spirit to infuse His life into us in more mysterious ways. And in saying that, I offer up this prayer:

May the Spirit of the Lord invite us into a journey of love and grace and reconciliation as we page through the Scriptures. May the cleansing Word of God form us into unblemished, spotless, and holy beings.

JohnLDrury said...

I like how your quote and comment show that it may very well be the author's intention that we read it for ourselves. So you are still acknowledging that God and his word comes first (not your own needs and fancies), but that God's word includes a plea for a response from us. Great point!

As for abuses, I wonder if for every David Koresh there are a hundred enlightened pastors or teachers locking the bible into some innacessible past time and place so that the word of God is never heard. The Koresh stories are more feightening, but which one is really more dangerous?

Anonymous said...

isn't there such thing as the rhema word? the "life" word...if the word of God is living and active then YES it can speak to YOU, directly to YOU. i ask for these rhema words everyday... and God has been faithful to give them. they can be a huge encouragement -- or a bit of discipline. (a father disciplines those he loves ...) as for david koresh and other weirdos -- can't worry about that. ask for discernment...david koresh's "theories/thoughts" never did line up with the Word of God. the Scriptures tell us that we can discern what is from him and what is not by whether or not it is TRUTH (in accordance and unity with scripture.) .. okay, finished, now :)

Keith.Drury said...

You said>>>>(No, Isaiah 40:30 was not written to encourage me to finish a hiking trail.) <<<<

Really??? Rats!

Josh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Josh said...

Yea - SHOOT for me too!!!! I think you need to take a new PIC of Coach as well!!! Coach - you look so slick and sophisticated!!! Mandy - I think your readers are increasing....

the benwahs said...

I like your thoughts. I too agree that there is an incredible comfort in knowing that the Word has been recorded for us. God loves us each so deeply, and He has given us incredible gifts. But, like Paul (the Kind kind, not the apostle kind) there are certain dangers to the abuse of this philosophy. We need to remain mindful of the fact that, though the Word was written For us, it is not necessarily About us. It is about Him, and we fit into the story there somewhere... that place in the story is what we're all trying to fulfill I suppose.

Good words.

God bless.