So, the funny thing about seminary and theological education is, there's often so much time spent theologizing that simply reading the Bible for the sake of reading the Bible can get lost. I've had that problem (which may partly be my fault, but there are only so many hours in the day). Regardless, I admit I haven't really just sat down and read the Bible much in a while. So today I pulled out my old Bible, the one I had as my primary take to church and everywhere else Bible for about 9 years, junior high and high school ages mostly. It's the New King James Version, not the NRSV that is the more common one in my circles now, but that Bible has all sorts of underlining, some notes, and I have read it cover to cover twice (at least), with a million smaller readings in between. It's become sort of like a favorite blanket or pillow or something. The words are familiar even in their not quite so modern English, and I still can find stuff in it based on where it is on the page. So I pulled that one out today and started reading some Psalms.
And I remembered how much I love the Bible. I love the whole Bible, even the parts I don't understand or don't like. I love reading the genealogies, the laws in Leviticus, the Psalms and the epistles. As I was reading Psalms today, I started thinking about the people that wrote them. Some of the psalms are quite personal, but I got the impression that some of them were intended to be shared, that the author knew these things would be read many years into the future.
Ignoring all the debates about truth and Truth and TRUTH, etc, I share this quote from Rich Mullins, because it's something to think about: “I don’t think you read the Bible to know truth. I think you read the Bible to find God, that we encounter him there.” Perhaps there is a truth in encountering God, but not truth in an all the answers sort of way. However, I think the we do have the Bible as a very important way to encounter God, and I think God was glad of the time I got to spend with Her while I was reading the Psalms. It's been a while.
So I leave you with this, from Psalm 33:
"Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,
To deliver their soul from death,
And to keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield,
For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You."