Thursday, August 14, 2008

hearing the word/ the Story of God

I guess one of the most important aspects of my life is simply hearing God's word. It has been true ever since I was a young Christian, listening to my grandmother's well worn small vinyl records of the KJV New Testament being read, and read wonderfully. After a time, I could play long segments of it in my head, it seems, and once in awhile, or at least I used to years later, still do so. Then I got a dramatized version of the NIV, followed years after that with a straight reading of the NIV. Now I've been borrowing The Bible Experience from our public library system.

We need to get a sense of the Story in Scripture- its breadth and depth, the beginning and the ending, and everything in between. As we do so we see that we indeed have a place in the Story. It's God's story, but we all have our parts in it. God is at the center in Jesus. We are to look to that center, and find our place in this story.

There are different places. But there is a place for everyone, no matter what your past or even present. Look to God in Jesus. There is grace for you in Jesus, no matter what sin you may be struggling with. No matter what sins you may have fallen into in your past, with all the devastating results or consequences. I know this by experience. As I look to God through Jesus, and remain in God's word, God moves in my life. I seek to come near to God, and as I do so, God always comes near to me.

A good place to begin your quest is in the word. And a good way to get into the word if you're a person like me, is to listen to it. I like The Bible Experience, because it's not hurried, and comes across more naturally than do some excellent readings of Scripture. A reader of Scripture I've found to be excellent is Max McLean. And I have used and like Steven B. Stevens. But there are other places to look, and you may want to find one from a Bible version you use. And likely something is out there from someone reading your favorite version. But do give it a careful listen before you buy it. And of course you can access this online.

We need to get into God's word, and we need God's word to get into us. And as this happens by God's grace to us in Jesus, we will begin to find our place in God's Story. A wonderful place, wherever and whatever it is. As we look forward to the day when the dynamic ending comes and unfolds in a way in which we find, like C.S. Lewis wrote, that the story is just now beginning. But the beginning is for us, for each of us, in Jesus, now.

What thoughts might you like to share on this?


Every Square Inch said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the audio readings of God's word. I don't use that media form but I can see situations where it may be useful

Ted M. Gossard said...

I'm getting a little carried away lately in mentioning audio reading of Scriputure, ESI, but it's interesting.

I do think there's power in hearing God's word read out loud, though I'm thinking here of just a straightforward reading of it, not necessarily a dramatization of it.

I prefer the dramatization because my wife Deb likes it, not so much because I would choose it myself, as I prefer just a good reading of it. But "The Bible Experience" does do an excellent job in its dramatizing of it, and some things about it, I think are gold!