Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hear the Word of the Lord

I doubt if I will turn my blog into a list of lists, but following the mention of favorite nuts and then favorite hymns, I thought further about favorite Scriptures. Many people find great comfort in the words of The Bible. Some folks use Scripture as a kind of moral compass. What passages come up most often though? What part of The Bible has the most meaning to you?

I don’t know if you are one of the folks who can quote chapter and verse, but there are many who not only know the words, but know exactly where they come from. (I usually only know approximately where a passage is – usually the Book, but not he chapter and verse).
School children are usually acquainted with the Creation story or the story of The Great Flood (both from Genesis), the Birth of Jesus (from Saint Luke’s Gospel), and perhaps the Twenty-third Psalm (the only psalm that everyone seems to know). Over the years we learn more. If we listen in church, we not only hear the Scriptures, but also hear them explained a bit in the preaching. Of course there are those of us who actually pick up a Bible every now and then and who therefore are even more familiar.

Gay Christians are all too familiar with the passages that some use to say God hates us and that we are pretty sorry excuses for human beings. I won’t go into those ones. Despite anything that people may try to tell you, God is love, NOT hate.

Which gets me back to my original question: what part of The Bible has the most meaning to you? Well Psalm 23 (The Lord is my shepherd) is on my list. The nativity story (Luke 2:1-20) is a favorite for sure. I am also quite fond of The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), The Reward of the Saints (Revelation 7:2-17), A Season for all Things (Ecclesiastes 3:1-15), and perhaps because of the song, the Valley of the Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14).

Of everything that is in The Holy Bible though, it is the writings of Saint Paul that bring me the most comfort and the most encouragement. One of those is “This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” (1 Timothy 1.15)

There are way too many passages to site all of them here, but the favorite of all is from his Epistle to the Romans (8:38-39): “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Thanks be to God.

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