The month of February is not the shortest month, but the longest for me. The length of a Minnesota winter has always been a big psychological barrier. I did not embraced Nordic skiing this winter and now my winter running has been interrupted by a nagging hamstring injury. For the past month as I watched the snow piles rise in the church parking lot I wondered if spring will ever come.
Yet I hope in the promise of spring. The evidence of it may be fleeting, but I am confident that the snow will melt, the trees will bud and my winter coat will be shed.
In a similar way, I take hope in God’s promises of scripture. The Bible is not a set of apps that I can download into my life. I cannot go to the “Google Playstore” and find a verse or two on depression or happiness and plug them into my life. No, the Bible is more like a story into which I am invited. As I live God’s story I discover that no matter how chaotic or troubling the plot may be at times, the Author remains faithful to the story of redemption and new life.
Just as I know that spring will come to Minnesota, I know that Jesus rose from the dead and comes to bring life. Beyond the snows of winter lies the promise of new life.
This is written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name (John 20:31).
Walter Brueggemann wrote these word of questions and hope regarding the Bible thirty years ago.
The central concerns of the Bible are not flat certitudes . . . but assurances that are characterized by risk and open mystery. The quality of certitude offered by the Bible is never that of a correct answer but rather of a trusted memory, a dynamic image, a restless journey, a faithful voice. Such assurances leave us restless and tentative in the relation, and always needing to decide afresh. Rather than closing out things in a settled resolution, they tend to open things out, always in fresh and deep question and urgent invitation. The central thrust of the Bible, then, is to raise new questions, to press exploration of new dimensions of fidelity, new spheres for trust. Such questions serve as invitations to bolder, richer faithfulness. Such questions also serve as critics exposing our easy resolution, our faithless posturing, and our self-deception. If the Bible is only a settled answer, it will not reach us seriously. But it is also an open question that presses and urges and invites. For that reason the faithful community is never fully comfortable with the Bible and never has finally exhausted its gifts or honored its claims. (The Bible Makes Sense)
Lord Jesus, continue to write hope upon my heart.
You can do it! (Says your daughter who is currently eating watermelon and papaya because the weather is a little warm this afternoon.)
I confess that there is wisdom in selecting Costa Rica for a winter semester abroad. Watermelon and papaya sounds delicious.
I raise Tolumnia orchids. If I knew one would perk you up, I would send it your direction. Hang in there! Spring is just around the corner.
I love the fact that we never ‘fully exhaust Scripture’s gifts’; it is an ongoing reminder of how expansive and everlasting our God truly is. Winter could be less everlasting though!