Yesterday in my sermon I challenged folks to become "imagining storytellers in the great Drama of Scripture." Nice words....they sound pretty nice changed together like that. But I am straight serious. To be Christians in the 21st century, participating in God's mission for the world, we have to understand the Bible as something that actually effects our life.
In the past, we understood its effects as knowledge and moral priority. We read the Bible to find more knowledge about God and to learn the do's and don'ts of the Christian life. These still apply, but perhaps not in the same order or priority. We need to get past a mechanistic understand of the Bible. Instead of it being something we hang on a tool belt, it instead becomes part of our mind and body. With this mindset, the idea of knowledge and behavior come into play, but understood because we are in a relationship with God instead of religious obligation.
Scripture belongs to the life we live now. We learn to talk about ourselves in terms of the actions of Christ, the deliverance from Egypt in the Old Testament and the hymns of hope in Revelation. The people of God have a story. It has been the same story since Abraham was called. The creator of the universe wants to draw all of the world into a redeemed relationship. He Himself came down, and Jesus took care of everything. While Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father, the Holy Spirit now speaks the words of God to us.
The practical side of storytelling means that we need to read scripture. We read it slow, fast, with deep intentions and at a glance. In all points of time the word of God is with us. It means we might have times where we read huge stretches or it might be the verses we memorized as a child. Through reading, we take it in as part of our lives and are then able to tell it to others...as something we own.
In several places in scripture, God challenges a prophet to eat a scroll. As Christians, we ingest scripture, letting it become part of our body. We do this as individuals and we do this as corporate bodes. Scripture becomes as natural as an organ, influncing our life in ways that we don't even realize.