You may have noticed that I’ve taken a few Mondays between posts. I’ve been traveling, some for work and some for vacation, and I’m looking forward to being home and falling back into my routine (and I plan on next week’s post being a more detailed account of the conference I attended). As I travel, I find that I need a television show that I can stream to keep my mind busy without occupying a terrible lot of emotional/intellectual space. For time on airplanes and treadmills, this trip, I started to watch BBC’s “Call the Midwife,” a series based upon the memoirs of Jennifer Worth who worked as a midwife in the East End of London in the late 1950’s. I have watched this show before, as each episode originally aired, and so I thought that the initial emotional reactions would be less intense than the first time…
That turned out not to be the case… as I cried through an episode on the treadmill, I was surprised at my own tears. Even though I knew the end, the episode had a new meaning for me.
And when I returned, the preaching text for the sermon for which I was preparing was one that I had not read for some time. I did not think much of it, however, as it was a story with which I was familiar. As the words of the scripture settled in, I found myself hooked with the same anticipation with which I viewed episode after episode of the television show I had chosen to consume during my travel.
It has caused me to reflect upon the Bible. Too often we view it as this collection of stories with which we have become far too familiar when in reality it is a book that through our interactions with it continues to guide, direct, challenge, and confront us. Even the most familiar of stories can, if consumed with an open heart and mind, speak to us afresh. Add in the layers of sharing conversations and study with others, and it is almost as though the Bible is God’s new word for us each and every time we open it up.
So your challenge is to think of your favorite verse or story in the Bible, and go read it. What stands out as new to you? What are the details you notice that you may have overlooked before. What does the scripture have to tell you today?