The Bible is a collection of ancient texts that due to 15th-century technology we can carry around in all sizes, type fonts, and sometimes even is printed with the color red here and there. Due to a long history of people who have worked very hard to translate the nuances of every ancient Hebrew and ancient Greek word, we can even read it in almost a thousand languages.
The Book. The bible. Started out as tablets, then scrolls, then the advent of paper came along and we had sheets. 1230-50 AD in China and Egypt we see printing blocks come into use. Then of course Gutenberg around 1450 dazzled everyone with his moveable type and the controversial action of printing obscene quantities of the Bible so everyone could have a copy. The Bible in the hands of …. Anyone and everyone? Can they be trusted?
This miraculous book, which is of course a collection of different books – histories, biographies, a hymn book, wisdom writing – snippets of wise things — and even letters of correspondence. All packed together, inviting us, calling to us. God’s Word speaking to us.
Usually, a person can’t pass by a Bible without it stirring some feelings inside…love, attraction, guilt, aversion. Remembering their grandmother, the big dusty one behind the glass case, the worn-out paperback by the bedside. You take a look and say…there’s something that’s part of my life or not part of my life. Many feelings…even from people who have never really read it…lots of feelings.
How do we relate to this Word of God? What’s our relationship with it? Is it close? Frequent? Honored? Do we take it in and keep it close to our heart and hands? Do we hear it? Do we want to hear it?
We have a sense that something good is coming, something good has been here, something good may be even swirling around and in us. Do these words in this book direct us on a path to what is good? Life giving? Does it lead you to the kingdom of God?
|God’s Word spoken in the scriptures, in the stories of Israel. Yet also didn’t God’s Word speak in the beginning and create everything? God’s Word that brought you into being. God’s Word that sustains your very breath.|
The technology of printing and bookbinding gives us God’s Word on a page to be processed through our minds and slowly sink into our hearts and lives.
But God’s Word also is in 3D all around us, in vivid color and smell, and some people think God’s Word may be in 4 or 5 dimensions around us too. It doesn’t need to “sink” we can touch it, feel it, taste it. God’s voice is in every plant, every animal, every sunrise and spring rain.
Jesus taught his disciples and means to teach us, through his parables. Parables that talk about how God’s Word in creation has created God’s Kingdom around us…. And even in places you wouldn’t expect. Parables about seeds, and sun, and birds and harvest.
Jesus teaches us with the Word of God that is around us – God’s Word in plants, sunshine, sheep, yeast. God’s Word is around us teaching us all the time if we have ears to hear.
If we have ears to hear. That takes me back to the first question of your relationship to God’s Word. Is it close? Frequent? Honored? Do we take it in and keep it close to our heart and hands? God’s Word in creation: Do we hear it? Do we want to hear it? Do we want to touch it and know it with all our being?
God’s Kingdom is like a seed that no one knows how it grows and then is harvested.
God’s Kingdom is like the mustard seed, so abundant and wholly different at each stage of growth. And wholly different from the bird that can care for its young in its shade.
The Word of God in all its majesty hovers over and around us, we must not pretend that this magnificence, this power that created the entire universe, is sealed away, beyond our reach. Jesus used parables, God’s Word in Creation, to show us how God is so close, his Kingdom has come.
When we truly hear and accept the voice of God in creation, we will be in God’s Kingdom. We will know each other as children of God and stop our warring madness.
If your relationship with the Bible is not a comfortable one, the parables of Jesus suggest we try other places where we can find God’s Word. Take some time to smell the roses…..really. Wonder at the scent –where does it come from? Wonder at the color – who thought of that color? What if the world didn’t have that color? Wonder at the majesty of a tree that began hidden in the ground. Plant a few seeds and seriously consider the miracle that unfolds. “Be with” God’s Word in creation until you can hear His voice until you feel you are at the threshold of the Kingdom of God.