Archive for March, 2010

Isaiah 43:16-21; John 12:1-8

March 22, 2010

California, where we used to live, is prone to earthquakes. One day I was reading Charles Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle, where he described the people of Tierra del Fuego and the measures they took so that earthquakes would not trap them inside their buildings. As I sat there reading, suddenly an earthquake struck. With a shock I went from musing about earthquakes to being in the midst of one. That shift describes us in our relationship to Scripture. We read it as if it were about there-and-then, just words. Then without warning it is about here-and-now, shaking us urgently. (more…)


Exodus 3:1-15; Luke 13:1-9

March 9, 2010

Can you tell the difference if you are turning the pages of a biography or the pages of a blueprint? The difference matters when it comes to reading the Bible, because Bible stories are not biographies, but blueprints. Take today’s episode from Exodus. If we read it as a chapter in Moses’s biography, which we tend to do, then it’s simply information. How does it move us ahead in our spiritual journey to know that? We call the Bible holy, and actually experience it that way, because it is not history, not biography, not even information primarily, but a blueprint for building a spiritual life. Now that does snap me up in my seat. A blueprint not only helps me know how to build my spiritual life, but it helps me see life’s hidden structure. For example, look at Moses’s encounter with the burning bush. (more…)