If you have been reading through the Bible with Living in The Story over the past forty-eight weeks, maybe you have experienced Scripture with fresh eyes. I hope you learned something new through your reading. I hope you caught a glimpse of its inexhaustible mysteries.
Throughout this project, I have tried to write about these Scriptures in a way that helps us make a bit more sense of this strange and wonderful book. Just maybe, through this experience, all of us are learning to listen and to see more clearly. Maybe all of us are doing a better job of asking-seeking-knocking.
Before I retired, when I was preaching regularly on Sundays . . . when I would stand in the pulpit, I would pray the same prayer Sunday after Sunday:
You have spoken to us once and for all in Jesus Christ and you continue to speak in these Holy Scriptures. Speak to us now, we pray . . .
When I would read the text for the sermon, I would begin by saying:
Listen now for the Word of the Lord in this the Holy Scripture.
So you might ask what I mean when say this Bible is the “Word of the Lord?” You might ask what it is I believe about this book we call the Holy Bible. Why do I call it “holy?” . . . .
Followers of the one true God, over several millennia, have given witness to their experience with God. The Bible is the record of that changing understanding and testimony to the variety of ways God’s people have found meaning and tried to live their lives with faith in the one who is beyond our knowing, the one beyond our grasping, the One-Who-Is.
Over the years, these writings have offered faithful witness to a people’s relationship with the God of their understanding. And so, over the years, these writings have become our sacred Scriptures, the “Holy” Bible giving witness to the holiness of living in the presence of a holy God.
The Old Testament together with the New Testament are the Scriptures of the Christian Church. So, I believe, in order for the church to be “Christian,” it must engage the Christian Scriptures. By “engage” I mean read, study, learn from, argue with, protest about, be shaped by, be challenged with, be spoken to, and changed by this Holy Bible.
But the Scriptures are not only the witness of human beings. Somehow, also, in some mystery, again and again, the God of all creation speaks in and through these human words.
Speak to us now we pray, that we may know you.
Don’t ask me to explain that.
I’m grateful I have learned to trust it without being able to explain it . . .
Read more at Charlotte Vaughan Coyle, Living in The Story: A Year to Read the Bible and Ponder God’s Story of Love and Grace (Resource Publications).
Living in The Story readings for Week 48
(our FINAL week! You DID it!)