What’s your favorite scripture? It’s an innocent question in church circles. What inspires you, consoles you, what is your go-to when life gets to be too much? I find that no matter where I am in life’s journey, I can always find myself in the Bible. Feeling joyful? There’s a Psalm for that. Mourning? There is a lot of that going on with God’s people. Have you had the worst run of “luck” ever? Just check out Job or Moses or Naomi. Need inspiration? Esther or Paul or Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus come to mind. This past Tuesday at Fellowship and Prayer on Zoom, we talked about our favorite scriptures and I thought I would share what a few people said, in case you are feeling stuck. One person said that they loved a psalm that reminded them that God is in charge and that God sets the path. Another, who loves to sing, finds her scriptures in the poetry of hymns and spends time with an old hymnal for inspiration. Yet another, a vegetarian, who loves Eagles, finds encouragement in the words of Isaiah “... Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” I chose Psalm 100, which was read at my ordination – “Shout with Joy, all the earth...” Is anyone shocked?
One friend surprised me by saying that their favorite Bible story was when Jesus changes his mind – agreeing to heal the Canaanite woman’s daughter even though he wasn’t planning to. I had never thought of drawing inspiration from a time in which Jesus wasn’t at his best. In fact, (the story is in Matthew, chapter 15 if you want to check it out) Jesus is kind of a jerk to the woman – first ignoring her and then calling her a dog, but in the end, he surprises everyone, even himself, I like to think, by granting her daughter the healing that she sought. It was a reminder that even Jesus can have a bad day. Even Jesus can be short with someone or angry or tired or frustrated. Even Jesus. And if Jesus can have a bad day and turn it around, maybe, just maybe, we can too.
I hope this month that you will return to the scriptures. That you will pray for fresh eyes and that you will see yourself in the word of God.
- Rev Brae