This week I set out to write a blog post about reading/studying the Bible. I started it several times and pressed the delete key I don’t know how many times. It’s a tough, impossible-seeming subject after all.
Then out of the blue I thought of a picture that Rainbow member Joshua Smith posted to Facebook recently. It was his birthday and well, why not post an adorable picture like this?
My memory told me he was wearing a bib in this photo but clearly I was wrong and just this once I’ll allow shameless buzz-marketing for Lee overalls.
The reason I thought of this photo was that Joshua is someone who loves the study of scripture. Why? I don’t think HE even knows, but this is what he told the lectionary-study group that is currently meeting on Wednesday nights at the church.
Joshua, someone who plans to pursue a PhD in biblical studies, told us last Wednesday that the more he studies the Bible, the more he realizes how little he knows. That is why I will be purchasing him a bib if and when he begins those studies.
I think we all feel a little bit like a baby in need of a bib when approaching the bible. We think there MIGHT be something good and nourishing in it, but there is also a good chance we might just spit it up or worse, choke on it. The bible is hard to consume after all. Just read Numbers 21:4-9 if you don’t believe me. Or read the lectionary-assigned reading for this coming Sunday (third Sunday in Lent): John 2:13-22.
There is a lot to digest when reading a text like this. Jesus is ANGRY. Why? It’s hard to know exactly, but like a lot of texts, it involves money.
And whenever I think of money and the bible I think of this story told by Kathleen Norris in her book, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith.
Kathleen Norris recounts the story of a South Dakota rancher and his bride who received an expensive bible as a wedding gift from his grandfather. They promptly wrote a thank-you note to their grandfather and stowed the Bible away on a closet shelf. As time passed, the grandfather repeatedly asked the couple whether they liked the wedding gift. “Wasn’t a thank you gift enough?”, asked the grandson. Eventually, the grandson dug out the gift. As he leafed through it, $20 bills fluttered out, 66 in all—one at the beginning of Genesis and in each succeeding book—over thirteen hundred dollars in all.
Thirteen hundred bucks was a lot of money back then and interest could have been made on the gift.
The Wednesday night bible study starts around 6:30 pm in fellowship hall in case anyone wants to join in the fun. Bibs are optional. And you never know what riches you’ll encounter if you come! And don’t worry, I’m trained in cpr if you start to choke.
Love this deal you wrote. We just accomplished a monster going-through of all of our books, and Book reviews will be happy. I think I need that Kathleen Norris book. Are you done reading it? Could I borrow it? Otherwise, I’ll give Amazon a ring-ding, after checking at the church library.