|A moment of worship and celebration at our annual Winter Retreat. Sirak, Jadon, and Lailah- all sweet
friends are seen here making a joyful noise!
"I write to you, dear children,
because you know the Father,
I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God lives in you,
and you have overcome the evil one."
1 John 2:14 (NIV)
I am persistently amazed by the ability of myself and others to keep God's Word at arm's length while living lives that are surrounded by it. As a pastor, I read Scripture with students and with other pastors, I teach on preach on Scripture, I read Scripture on my own, I study Scripture in seminary classes, I ask and answer questions about Scripture nearly every single day. And yet, invariably, I find myself and others reducing Scripture to ideas- believing the mature student of Scripture is the one who can navigate the Bible the most quickly or who knows the most potential interpretations of the most frustrating passages. And yet the relationships with God's Word espoused by people of God like David, John, Paul, and others point to one on which the Word lives so much within someone that it shapes their assumptions, dreams, reactions, and hopes- stabilizing them in times of difficulty and destabilizing them in times of complacence. It seems that in the quest to let the Word of God live in us, there is no replacement for a combination of humility, openness, pain, and time.
I have recently felt a push from God and from some key people in my life to not settle for learning about Scripture, but to lean into it with the constancy, intensity, and thirst necessary to make it come alive in me.
How alive is God's Word in you? And do you believe He has a more vibrant relationship with His Word in store for you?