“Many a night I woke to the murmer of paper and knew (Dad) was up, sitting in the kitchen with frayed King James – oh, but he worked that book; he held to it like a rope ladder.” – Leif Enger
You know we live in a world where we crave experience (as we sit and stare at our screens). As a society, we enjoy so much personal freedom. Over time, if we’re not careful, what can end up happening is that we start to think and believe that our individual experiences are the only truth that really matters.
The fire remains the same. Sometimes we approach it because we need its warmth. Sometimes we draw near because its light illuminates the darkness of our path. Other times we run to the fire seeking safety from the approaching night. We have different needs that drive us toward that fire. We have different experiences once we near the fire. But the fire never changes.
It remains the same.
You wouldn’t know this living here in America. We have over 3,800 Protestant denominations, all pointing to the same Scripture as their guide for doing church their way, the right way. We’ve always had trouble with Scripture. It has liberated us and then divided us. We search within it poorly and then find only what we were looking for (not necessarily what it means to say).
Scripture isn’t a magic book. It’s not just a subjective experience that seems to change itself for each new reader. It remains the same. It teaches us the same truth, generation after generation. It points toward the unchanging magnificent love of God.
We sometimes search it for secret formulas and pull words and phrases out of their context all trying to find some sort of experience all our own. The Scripture is the whole fire, the entire story. It has a context, a history, a purpose and most of all, a message. It is worth our study. We ought to be its students for the rest of our lives. Its pages tattered and frayed because of constant use not misuse.
Because of the world that we’ve made for ourselves we are always in danger of making our experience all that really matters. Sure, it’s all we really know (what we experience), but we must believe that there is an objective truth outside of ourselves that doesn’t change. What matters is what’s eternal.
The fire remains the same.
They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” – Luke 24:32