Friday, December 03, 2010

Advent: 3

Sometimes I forget that the Bible hasn't always been this neat and tidy, leather- bound cross-referenced compilation.

I think of John Piper's voice laid over the musical bridge in Casting Crown's "The Word is Alive"...

The Bible was inscribed over a period of two thousand years
In times of war and in days of peace
By kings, physicians, tax collectors,
farmers, fishermen, singers, and shepherds
The marvel is that a library so perfectly cohesive
could have been produced by such a diverse crowd
Over a period of time which staggers the imagination

Jesus is its grand subject,
our good is its design,
and the glory of God is its end.

Imagine what it would have been like to live when Mary & Joseph did...with No New Testament. Prophecies were taught and learned and shared from generation to generation. A Redeemer, a Rescuer, a Savior was coming. The fulfillment of the prophecies they'd studied for so long was unfolding before them in real time.

God had been scripturally silent for hundreds of years. Generation after generation of papas and mommas teaching their children about Abraham and Moses and what the prophets had said about the coming Messiah. Children were growing in knowledge and understanding...but more importantly...growing in faith and hope and trust.

Then, folks start seeing stars. Folks start hearing angels. "Could THIS be what we've hoped for?"

Luke 1:1-4 "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."

Did Luke KNOW he was penning the third book of my Bible? Who knows? He knew the Word was alive and promises were being fulfilled! He must have felt a strong sense of responsibility to pass along the an orderly, purposeful account.

So, I have to ask myself. Aren't there promises that are being fulfilled in my life? Aren't there areas where God's character is faithfully proved day after day. Have I carefully investigated the mysteries of Heaven? Have I shared the truths of scripture with my "most excellent" offspring?

Do I read the Scriptures to my kids often enough? What if all our Bibles were confiscated and my responsibility for imparting the truths and mysteries of God to future generations was supported only by the Holy Spirit and my memory of things read and heard? Have I been a good steward of the decades of availability...all the years I have spent with more than one copy of the Bible within reach at all times?

Help me, Jesus.