Lent is here! It's a sacred time of year, and it begins today with Ash Wednesday. This special season provides roughly six weeks to pause, pray and prepare our hearts and minds for Easter.
Last year for Lent, we journeyed together through a variety of faith-related words. This column provided a space for usto explore important concepts like grace, faith and evangelism. This year, I've got a new idea, and I hope you'll join me for this adventure.
For the next six weeks, let's explore a bit of the Bible together. This week, I'll share a reflection on why I think the Bible is great. Then, throughout the next several weeks, I'd love to highlight some of your favorite Bible verses. Please email me with the passages you hold most dear at: email@example.com. Or, if you prefer regular mail, you can send a note right to the Post-Bulletin. Please share a verse or two that has been meaningful to you.
I'm excited because by the end of Lent, we could all have a nice collection of meaningful Bible verses to turn to when we need encouragement, hope, or motivation.
I like to think of the Bible as a beautiful, complex, quirky family scrapbook. It tells the story of generations and generations of people. We get to hear about their ups and downs, the times when everything seemed to go right and the times when it all seemed to go wrong. The biblical family tree is filled with all sorts of characters, just like my regular family tree — yours, too, right? I find this refreshing. The Bible is not a boring book; that's for sure.
The New Testament (in the back of the Bible), tells the story of the early Christian tradition. We hear about Jesus' ministry in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And after that, there are a variety of letters and books that reveal details about what early Christianity was like.
The Bible is terrific for a lot of reasons. Here are a few.
• The Bible isn't about perfect people. Instead, both the Old and New Testaments are filled with descriptions of relatively "normal" folks doing their best to figure out what a life of faith is all about.
• The Bible can be read in a variety of ways, and each way is important. We can approach the Bible historically and learn about what was happening at the time a specific book was written. We can also approach the Scriptures devotionally and allow specific passages to speak right to our hearts.
• We live in a time and place with high literacy rates and easy access to Bibles. This is not something to take for granted. For a very long time, most people didn't have access to God's written word. What a gift that we now do!
• Our faith gives us the freedom to really explore God's word. We have nothing to fear. We can dive in. We can ask questions. We can even wrestle with the Bible! God's word often challenges our assumptions, and it also inspires our spirits. It's an amazing collection of books, letters, and poetry!
In the coming weeks of Lent, let's explore some special Bible passages together. I look forward to hearing from you soon. These holy weeks give us the opportunity to carve out moments for prayer and God's word. I am happy to share this journey with you!