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A Different Lens

January 9, 2013

This year, I’m reading my Bible.

Last year, I worked my way through Common Prayer:  A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Enuma Okoro.  I said morning prayers every day, sometimes in the morning, sometimes at lunch, occasionally in the late afternoon.  I read selected Bible passages with the lectionary, sang songs, and said the Lord’s Prayer.  At first it was challenging, then it was comforting.  The opening prayer settled me when I said it, even in the middle of the afternoon:

O Lord, let me soul rise up to meet you

as the day rises to meet the sun.


The closing prayer, I whispered over Curtis more than once as he left for work–the familiarity making it the one prayer I could say outloud for him with him hearing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you:  wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing : once again into our doors.

Occasionally I would even do the evening prayers, finding solace in confessing those things that I have done and have left undone.

This year though, I decided it was time for something different.

I’ve gone back to my One Year Chronological Bible.  After reading Inspiration and Incarnation by Peter Enns and A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans, I felt led to read through the Bible again.  As I started reading this time, I recognized I am reading it using different lenses.  I read the Old Testament look for things that point to Jesus.  What can I learn about the nature of God who calls me to love above anything else?  How does the Old Testament tell us about Jesus and what Jesus will live and die for?  Throughout the whole Bible, I am looking at the women differently.  For the first time, I noticed that as Rebekah left her house to marry Isaac, a blessing was sung over her.  Here in the middle of a very patriarchal Genesis, is a blessing for Rebekah, telling her that her descendants will be great.  Maybe for some many years, I read the Bible expecting to find women written about minimally and with little respect that I missed the women of valor the Bible praised.  Human women, just like all of us, who were complex, who made mistakes and looked out for their offspring, yet had blessings sung over them nonetheless.

Nine days in, I’m enjoying Genesis–one of my least favorite books of the Bible (too gory, too human).  My new lens help considerably.  I am looking forward to my year with the Bible, learning again what God has done for us humans, to demonstrate God’s love to us over and over and over, in all circumstances and situations where ever we’re at.

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