Friday, March 16, 2007

thanks, I needed that!

From an old (Mennen Skin Bracer?) commercial in the past, some guy slaps (or someone else slaps him?) across the shaving area of his face. And he exclaims, "Thanks! I needed that."

That is what Scripture reading often (or at least occasionally, and rather regularly) does for me. This morning I was reading from 1 Corinthians. And I was reminded once again that I'm not to be looking out for my own interests, or living with those in view. But I'm to be looking out for the interests of others.

That takes care of a whole host of problems: greed, lust, envy, jealousy. Being reminded of this helps us in seeking to follow the way of Christ. When we're so "naturally" prone to follow our own way.

We need the whole counsel/will of God we find in Scripture. That's why we need to be regularly in it, day and night. It encourages us; gives us new vision, lifting our eyes up to the Lord, from whom our help comes; convicts us of sin; calls us to obedience and faith, and a life of following our Lord together.

If you have trouble reading Scripture, or getting into it, let me highly recommend to you something I listened to, last weekend. Inspired by the Bible Experience is an awesome dramatization of Scripture, using the TNIV. I've heard a number of good readings and dramatization, a number I would recommend. But for sheer drama and the acting, along with the music involved, this one, for me, seems set apart. It is done, I believe, by all African-Americans. Jesus and Paul come across as gentle, strong, human, and having authority from God. When Jesus appears after the resurrection you hear people gasping and some crying. When Jesus speaks at a certain point, you know he is just getting down the fish he was eating. (end of Luke) I found it very moving. And though I am not currently thinking of buying Scripture read or acted out, I almost did. And may do so, down the road. I heard (or read) that Denzel Washington and his wife are working on "the Song of Songs". As the Old Testament project is being done.

For years I heard the Bible dramatized or read. That was how I did most of my Bible reading. It had its drawbacks. But I was in the Word alot, and went through it, normally, I think, a few times a year. There is nothing like it! We need Scripture; we need God's Word. One way or another, we need to be in it regularly.

What about you? What ways do you get into Scripture which can be helpful to us? Or thoughts you would add?


L.L. Barkat said...

Well, this is nothing admirable... I get into scripture best when I have to speak. But, honestly, the experience is so rich, and I love it! Sitting down to read by myself, without a future audience in mind, rarely has the same effect.

So, I guess it comes down to this: know thyself. And accept it. Then dive in to the special way scripture comes alive for you.

Ted Gossard said...

L.L., I love to speak. But since I never was ordained, those have been limited.

So for me, just any old time is a good time. And also, as I am older, I feel more of an ongoing need to do so. As well as a want. Though discipline must follow.

But your last point is so true. No one right way to do it. Just do it.

(I do think we could do this in valuable ways, corporately, but that's another subject. And one I really have alot to learn about).