Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Why I'm Reading the Bible in 90 Days

This post first appeared in the 'Summer of Scripture '14' tumblr.  Jonathan is part of a Madison-based group of young adults taking on the challenge together, beginning June 1. You can learn more -or join them! - here.


Do you ever get tired of trying - unsuccessfully - to fit more of God into your very busy life?

I do. 

For me, the trouble is not just that ‘fitting God in’ is hard to do; it’s the realization that, even if I succeeded, the cumulative result of cramming crumpled bits of a made-convenient-faith into a few unclaimed corners of my life is not a vision especially compelling or beautiful to me.

"Better than nothing."

But somewhere behind this weary ambivalence lies a hidden hope. Occasionally, I glimpse it. In solitude and times of introspection, in the boisterous company of the Sunday Assembly gathered for praise, in song and in silence, in bread broken and shared, in love lived toward another, the Gospel sparks this flame of hope in me that cries in love, uncertainty, and with joy, “More is possible!” 

The truth is, I don’t tire of my attempts to fit God into my very busy, culturally determined, and consumer-oriented life so much as I tire of living a very busy, culturally determined, and consumer-oriented life. I long for the possibility Christ has offered as promise: to live life determined by God’s ocean-depth love. “Abundant life,” he calls it.

I am reading the Bible this summer, I suppose, as mutiny to life less-than-abundant.
Toward this end, I don’t want the Bible to become a part of my story; I want to grow in friendship with the God who invites me to live and move and be inGod’s story. I want to read the Bible this summer as practice in surrendering my story to God’s. I want to learn to love God’s story more. 

I want God to challenge my boredom come the pages of unending genealogies, to challenge my presumptions that some names aren’t worth remembering. Show me, Lord, the roots of the impatience that has taught me there are more important things than your hand at work in the generations of your children. Fill me, Lord, with a new imagination for what is beautiful, redemptive, and life-giving. Give me, Jesus, the ears to hear and eyes to see that you longed for your disciples to more fully possess; even the ears that have picked up your whisper: ”More is possible.”


Yes, I am reading the Bible this summer - as mutiny to life less-than-abundant!

Are you up for a good mutiny, too?

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