Do you know anyone who loves to ruin a good book for you? They see you have just started the latest Harry Potter and immediately launch into a discussion about how the book ends. This happens with movies too! These people can’t help themselves. There should be a new law in this land that anyone who is guilty of this heinous crime has the word ‘Spoiler’ tattooed across their brow so those of us who like a bit of suspense can run a mile. After all it is never the same reading a book, or watching a film when you know what is going to happen. During the last European and World Cups I have been working shifts, so I’d faithfully set the game to record hoping to watch it later without having stumbled upon the result. Most of the time this failed but even when I was unaware of the score, there was something strange about watching a sporting event after the event. The result was already set in stone, watching it, shouting at the TV when England gave another lacklustre performance, willing the ball not to cross the line, none of it mattered – I could not change what had happened. Realising this kinda ruined watching sport after the event, now I just stick to the highlights.
I think I’m guilty of sticking to the highlights when it comes to the Bible too. I know how it plays out, the ending has been revealed! Maybe this is one of the reasons we have turned reading the Bible into a chore. The thing is the Bible is not like any other book. For a start it’s not a complete record John tells us at the very end of his gospel:
‘Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.’
Jesus has not finished doing things, He is active and alive in our world today and we, if we choose, can be a part of one of these books that are not written down. You can be a sequel to the Bible, albeit one of many, but still you can be involved in what started in the Bible, and will end long after our time is done. In fact sequel is probably the wrong word, as we are part of the ongoing epic saga of God’s over arching story rather than just a rehashed plot line. Tolkien and Lewis had a sense of the world’s they created in Middle-Earth and Narnia, a sense of their characters and the worlds they were creating. While God was parting seas and saving nations He had you in mind – you were and are a part of His saga.
I have neglected the Bible for too long. So from now on there will be more Bible on this blog and more Bible in me. It’s not a resolution of the new year, but please feel free to challenge me on it!
Psalm 119:35-40 (The Message)
God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me— my whole life one long, obedient response. Guide me down the road of your commandments; I love traveling this freeway! Give me a bent for your words of wisdom, and not for piling up loot. Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way. Affirm your promises to me— promises made to all who fear you. Deflect the harsh words of my critics— but what you say is always so good. See how hungry I am for your counsel; preserve my life through your righteous ways!