Reading is the first thing, just reading the Bible. As we read we enter a new world of words and find ourselves in on a conversation in which God has the first and last words. We soon realize that we are included in the conversation.
The Bible is not only written about us but to us.
– Eugene Peterson, introduction to The Message
David Brooks, the author of The Second Mountain and The Road to Character, offers rare transparency into how his experience of the Scriptures transformed during his later decades of life. He suggests that we are created yet being created still. That the Bible stories introduced into his childhood as myths were later transformed into wisdom literature on which to build a life. Yet later still they become more. In “simple yet endlessly complex ways,” the Bible became a living script. He goes on to say,
My old ideas were not adequate for the extremes of joy and grief I experienced. These [Bible] stories kept coming back, but they changed as if re-formed by the alchemy of time. They grew bigger and deeper, more fantastical and more astonishing. Wait, God asked Abraham to kill his own son? I suppose this happens to most of us as we age; we get smaller, and our dependencies get bigger. We become less fascinating to ourselves, less inclined to think of ourselves as the author of all that we are, and at the same time, we realize how we have been the one shaped—by history, by family, by forces beyond awareness. And I think what came, in the most incremental, boring way possible, is that at some point I had the sensation that these stories are not fabricated tales happening to other, possibly fictional, people: they are the underlying shape of reality. They are renditions of the recurring patterns of life. They are scripts we repeat….These stories provide the horizon of meaning in which we live our lives—not just our individual lives, but our lives together….We are created and being created still.
Wisdom is not always knowing more, but knowing with more of you, knowing more deeply.
Friends, buckle up for another conversation and invitation to read the Scriptures afresh.
There is a narrow road to know the Scriptures—and the God who wrote them—with more of us, more deeply.
This three-part series is, above all else, a personal invitation to all Become Good Soil listeners, women and men alike, to join me for a year’s journey through the Bible together.