“9000 words” – I would have never thought that such a small sentence fragment could stand out in a seminary course – but it has made a profound statement to me in the care in which I need to hold and honor the Bible and my interpretation of it. I, most recently, read an update on Twitter that caused a worldwide trend: “Elvis Presley’s Bible”. Curiously, I looked at it and found that people had become fascinated with the fact that “The King’s” personal Bible was being auctioned. Inside, “The King” had written down personal words of inspiration – and the world was talking about it. I even included one of the phrases in my own timeline.
This whole thought process referred me back to something I had read in my seminary studies about Augustine. This was a man who devoted so much effort and energy to reading the Bible and trully trying to hang on every word that he wrote a 9000 word synopsis of what he got out of 17 mere words from Genesis. 9000 words! It takes “The King” to scribble something in the margins of his printed Bible to make the world stir – but the volumes of text that were written by THE KING just become old and stale to us. Sadly, I even become guilty of doing a quick devotional in the morning and reading a few verses and feel confident that I have “spent time in the Word.” A quick comparison between ten minutes spent reading the Bible and a 9000 word thoughtful thesis on a 17 words strip of Scripture tells me that my “spending time” pales in comparison.
As a worship pastor, it is crucial that I know the didactic theology behind everything I do – and everything I attempt to engage my congregation in. In just a few short days I have learned that I need to learn so much more about what I do, how I do it, and why I do what I do. I am excited what comes next – and excited to honestly say “God, reveal to me what is in your Words!”