This is Christ in the Community for Friday, November, 11. Beginning in 3,2,1
Good Morning. I am Steve Merrin, pastor of Hodge Presbyterian Church. On behalf of the Trenton Ministerial Alliance, I want to thank KTTN for this opportunity to share Christ in the Community.
Back in 1993, a Christian musician by the name of Steve Taylor released a CD called Squint. This CD was among my favorite CDs of the early 90’s. I remember reading an interview in which Steve Taylor is asked why he called his latest CD Squint. His paraphrased answer was something like: I have a history of writing songs that people misunderstand because they seem to say one thing on the surface, but when you look a little closer it may open up to an entirely different or deeper meaning. He went on to say that he sees that the parables of Jesus are like that, when you think you have the meaning of a parable down, just squint, look a little harder, chance are there is more to it.
I would expand his point about the parables of Jesus to the majority of scripture. When we have learned about a verse or a Bible story in Sunday School, or when we read it for ourselves, there is a certain level of meaning and understanding we have. In my experience, I usually can go deeper with any bit of scripture. The deeper I look, the deeper or more meaningful it becomes. This is why you hear of the giants of Christianity (whether they are academic like Colin Brown, or pastoral like Billy Graham) still learning from scripture after all these years. I can’t tell you how many times I have read the 23rd Psalm and have found something new and unexpected there. In fact, I think that the more familiar we are with a scripture passage, the more likely we are to not learn something new from it. The reason for this is that we think we know that one already so we tune out. When this happens to you, I would encourage you to squint, and look a little more intently.
So how about it Trenton, are you reading the Bible regularly? Are you asking questions of what you are reading? Are you thinking about it? Are you squinting at it for a deeper look. I want to share a quote with you from one of my more famous and maybe even notorious fellow Presbyterians, Mark Twin: “People say when they get to heaven, they’ll fly around from cloud to cloud playing a harp; but I don’t see too many people trying to learn how to fly or too many taking harp lessons to get ready for the event.” I would add to mister Twain’s comment that I find it interesting that so many of us believe that the Bible is the Word of God, yet we do not read it much more than once a week.
1Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; 2but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. 3They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. Psalm 1:1-3 reminds us that those who squint, look deeply, and meditate on the Law of the Lord is like a tree planted by streams of water. Tall, strong, and healthy. So join me in spending just a little bit of time today meditating on Gods word.
Thank you for listening and God Bless You!