It’s not a book, it’s a conversation

We look at the Bible all wrong. Most of us see the Bible as a collection of words that we read (hopefully) now and then. Inspired words, but just words nonetheless. If we read it often enough or if we are lucky, maybe the words we read will help us live a better life. But that’s not the way He wants us to use His Word.

The Bible is much more than that. The Bible is a conversation with God. It’s a two-way interaction. We seek and He responds. We ask and He answers. We knock and the door is opened. We cry out in pain and He comforts. The Bible is one way that Jesus can talk to us without the need for clouds, dazzling lights, or other manifestations that would terrify us and wake the neighbors. It is a classic God-way; quiet, peaceful, intimate, and unexpected. And filled with love and wisdom.

I’m one of those slacker Christians who have yet to read the entire Bible. Over the years I have tried, but I keep getting lost somewhere between Proverbs and Obadiah (which is a great name, by the way, but I digress.). I have read the Gospels numerous times, and the rest of the New Testament at least a dozen times, but the old one is a tougher slog for me.

Lately, I’ve changed my strategy. Actually, I have abandoned any pretense of a strategy for reading the entire Good Book. Now I go wherever the conversation leads me. If I hear a verse at Mass that inspires me, I go home and read that particular chapter. If one of the daily readings raises a question, I go to the Bible looking for an answer. No matter what sort of mood I am in, God is willing to share it with me, whether He speaks from an Old Testament book, a psalm, a proverb or a Gospel. I don’t go looking for words of wisdom, I call out to my Father, and he replies. And we talk.

Next time you and God have something to talk about, grab your Bible. Dust it off, open it up, and say, “Good morning, Abba. I have a question for you.” and then enjoy the conversation.

“And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, and we saw His glory, the glory of the Father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”–John 1:14

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