About a year before my grandfather (John Moses McPherson) passed away he sat me down at their kitchen table and opened a box. It was full of letters, pictures, and other memorabilia from his life. There was a picture of him with his Marine Corp bulldozer, a picture of his parents, an early picture of my grandparents, his marine corp knife, and a few other things. I loved getting to see those memories with him! One of the few things that I don’t like about the digital age is the reduced value of words; specifically our words to each other. Letters seem to be part of a bygone era. We can talk, text, or video chat any time of the day or night and while I love that we can easily communicate anytime, I fear that it can devalue words to each other if we are not careful.
In previous generations when a couple was separated by circumstance, their primary means of communication was letters. I can imagine getting these kinds of letters and pouring over them, rereading every word and drinking them in as the expression of love that they would be both to my heart and mind. These letters often became treasured family heirlooms, stored in shoe boxes, not unlike my grandfather’s box. They are pulled down on occasion to remind us of the past, the history of love in our family. But later generations don’t drink the words like a lover, and with each generation, the love is further removed and the words are less valued.
Scripture is God’s word! God has written a love letter and filled it with stories of his love for us. It is literally God’s expression of himself to us. His Word (scripture) makes him present in our lives. Yet rather than pouring over the scriptures like a lover, we put it on the shelf like later generations, pulling it out on occasion to remind ourselves or others of some ancient love. We must remember what the Word of God is: it is God’s revelation of himself to us. We also must walk like we believe that and teach our kids what it looks like to believe in God’s word. J.I. Packer writes in Concise Theology:
What scripture says, God says; for, in a manner comparable only to the deeper mystery of the Incarnation, the Bible is both fully human and fully divine. It should be received as from God, and all that Bible writers teach should be revered as God’s authoritative instruction. (p. 3)
God’s word has authority. It should affect the way we live. It should change the way we orient our lives, the way we parent, the way we marry, the way we work, the way we shop… God’s word should change us, it should work in us; but, to do so, we have to read it. We have to engage with God’s word personally and corporately (as a church).
I believe that the scriptures are the revelation of God, divinely inspired. This belief is one of the pillars of our faith. It is an essential belief of our faith. Do you believe in God’s word? Do you live like you believe in God’s word? Do you receive scripture as from God? Do you seek out his word, pouring over the words as one seeking the words of their lover?
Packer, J. (1993). Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.