Good art speaks. By nature of its designer’s line, color choices, stylistic nuance, or interpretation, a painting or symphony or story is able to take on its own life, revealing something new each time it is absorbed. People bring their unique knowledge, experiences, and emotions to art and look through a very personal lens into its depths. People often see and hear new things every time they read a book or look into a painting, as their understandings of their world and their own perceptions change and grow.
The Bible is like a gallery full of art, or a library full of books, all telling a singular story, a grand epic, about God and his people. It is a collection of literature, made up of poetry, prose, music, speeches, letters of correspondence and remembered and recorded history, divinely gathered and breathed to life by the very Spirit of God. It reflects both the divine nature of the God that inspired it and the human nature of the flesh that spoke it, penned it, heard it, corroborated it, copied it, told it, sang it, gathered it, validated it, and translated it. It speaks the very word of God with us (Father, Son, and Spirit) from beginning to end. It is as alive as those who engage it and apply it. James says it is like a mirror that reveals what humans really look like. The great preacher of Hebrews proclaims the Word of God as sharper than any sword, a word of promise and rest and yet a discerning word of judgment that can expose the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. The Bible is to be read with the mind and the heart, engaged over and over again with a soul hungry and thirsty for the God it reveals.
It is my intent to look into this library and appreciate its art while growing in my relationship with my Father, through Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit. I yearn to drink and be satisfied by living water. I believe that God will speak through the pages of Scripture and through the people in whom He’s chosen to dwell as we read and think and communicate with one another through this blog. We’ll start in a book full of literary depth, rich metaphor, and poetic beauty, whose author’s clear intent was to reveal this God with us as Jesus, the Christ, the son of God, the way back to the Father, the only one who can offer life, true, abundant and eternal, and his own Spirit to guide the way. Let’s gaze into the Gospel of John and listen to God speak.
To whet our thirst and prepare our minds, here’s a great clip by N.T. Wright about approaching the good news of God, the gospel: