God help me to hear your word…. And touch an ear with the Bible.
To understand your word…..And touch your forehead with the Bible
To love your word……And touch your heart with the Bible
And to share your word…..As you stretch your arms open wide.
I get a real kick out of teaching this prayer because after saying it once, the third graders will have it down. And hopefully nobody has hit themselves on the forehead too hard. I like the physical motions of the prayer as they remind me that reading the Bible is not only an exercise of our mind.
Hearing the word… the process of our ears listening means that sometimes at least, we read what is in the Bible out loud…with others. This reminds me that although the Bible is meant to speak to our lives individually, it is also a collection of different communities’ experiences with God. Reading the Bible together is important, for in order to hear the call of God in our lives together, we must also listen to each other.
Understanding God’s word can be the place we need God’s help the most. Understanding the Bible is not just about having a working knowledge of the stories and lessons it has to teach. Understanding the Bible is more than paying attention to context and the background of the Bible. Understanding the Bible is also recognizing that these 66 books put together have a particular intention. And that intention is to tell about God’s love and purpose, we Christians believe through Jesus Christ, for all of creation.
On Sunday we are going to hear from someone who has told me many times that he loves God’s word. I’ve heard that before, but I’ve not been around anyone else who is able to consistently express that in a way that is both genuine and relevant. It appears to me that loving God’s word is for this guy also trusting that God’s word will provide what is needed in his life enough to pay attention to what the Bible has to say him.
Sharing God’s word is not just sharing “the words.” We don’t all need to memorize the Bible or become Gideons. Sharing the word is sharing how the scriptures have transformed our lives. Sharing God’s word is telling our story; it is living as if the Bible has within it something we have experienced that is worth sharing.
This Sunday try to remember to bring to church with you the Bible you read out of at home. Say the prayer with the 3rd and 8th graders and me. And if you don’t have a Bible to read at home….come and see me; I’ll make sure you get one.
Keep the Faith,