"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Fresh Word

After I wrote a previous blog entitled “The Core,” I decided I should put my money where my mouth is and begin a disciplined activity of daily Bible reading, and so I selected to use the Disciple Bible study for its reading plan as well as thematic and devotional study. Not only would it keep me on a course for about 34 weeks, it would also take me through a large percentage of the Bible. The down side of that, however, was that the readings – at least at the front – would be so familiar that I was afraid much of it would become rote. For example, how many times have we read of the Genesis account, or the story of the flood, or of the Hebrew children’s exodus out of Egypt? We can practically recite them from memory. Therefore, I decided to pick up another translation and begin my trek: this time with Eugene Peterson’s The Message.

And so I began, having no clue what an electrifying shock it would be to my spiritual system. For years I have read, “And God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was light.” And now I read, “God spoke: ‘Light!’ And light appeared. … God spoke: ‘Sky!’ … God spoke, ‘Separate!’” Talk about the wonder. Talk about the power of fiat! -- something out of nothing with only a word. "Prosper!" "Reproduce!” “Generate life!”

And whereas I have read and loved for years David's repentant Psalm 51, “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom;” today I read, “What You’re after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.” “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me,” is rendered, “God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.” What a powerful word picture of bringing order out of a chaotic and dysfunctional life. (Jesus is all about word pictures! Just read the red letters in your Bible.)

Don’t get me wrong: I love the “old," but the “new” has aided in getting me out of my rut and, as the psalmist said, has put a fresh wind in my sail. I encourage you to pick up another translation and see what refreshing Word God might have waiting for you today. He might just unbutton your lips so you can let loose with some praise!

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