Posts Tagged "interpretation"

Bookcases, Lattes and the Restoration of my Soul

Bookcases, Lattes and the Restoration of my Soul

By on Sep 5, 2013 in Blog |

I often hear the Bible characterized as an instruction manual. But instruction manuals are mono-layered, have a single purpose and method. If I want real, life-giving, applicable, intimate advice, I don’t go to my IKEA flat-pack furniture manual, I go to a close friend. A well-chosen friend can offer me what the manual can’t. They still offer instruction, sure, but their words mingle with empathy, love, care, respect and all manner of other emotions to offer an experience-drenched interaction, not just a dry, lifeless transfer of information. If we believe that the God of the Bible chooses to reveal himself through the Holy Scriptures found in the book the Church refers to as the Bible, then he invites us to engage with a friend at the kitchen table, not a bullet-point, bookcase instruction manual. Allow me to explain what I mean: Among all Old Testament passages, Psalm 23 and I became deeply acquainted when I was a child and have been good friends ever since. However, after having muttered Psalm 23 under my breath, I do not feel an immediate sense of deep equipping (although I’m sure God works in this way too). My first reaction is “ahhhhhhhh”. I breathe more deeply, its poetry washes over me and I inextricably feel more whole than before. Psalm 23 has become part of my journey – or I have become part of it, as I am literally led beside the waters and made to lie down in the pastures and in the process I begin to understand what it means to be restored and pursued by the things of God’s heart. Recently though, my friendship with Psalm 23 took an interesting turn. I learned to speak its language. I learned how to read Hebrew. The process of being invited to access a Psalm I knew so well in a totally new way felt a little like what I imagine it is to be asked to be someone’s best man. It comes with a deep sense of privilege but equal sense of responsibility. Only one verb in Psalm 23 (other than ‘to be’) appears more than once, which is significant, arguably pivotal, in a short Psalm such as Psalm 23 (only 6...

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