Posted by: pmarkrobb | January 9, 2014

our gift and treasure

I wonder what it was like to be in the crowd that day.  What was it like to hear Jesus speak?  In reading this past week, I’ve experienced times where I closed my eyes and tried to imagine myself in the scene.  My senses were fully engaged, listening for the voice of the One who was speaking, visualizing the crowd that was gathered, envisioning the natural surroundings.  How I have longed in the past for the gift of even just a few moments to experience the people and places of Jesus’ earthly life.  In teaching Sunday School, I’ve “re-enacted” Old Testament stories several times.  I get excited about the opportunity, and strongly encourage the children and adults present to dive in and experience the physicality of the story.  I have witnessed and personally experienced so many transformative moments when the story or a truth came alive in a new way, having just “participated” in it.

What would it have been like to have taken in the breadth and depth of wisdom and truth Jesus shared that day?  My grandfather was a pastor.  I loved sitting up near the front and listening to him preach.  I have a few of his notebooks.  Each sermon was a half-page, typed out, meticulously outlined and three-hole punched.  How many pages would the outline for Jesus’ sermon that day have taken up in my grandfather’s notebook?

I wish I could say that I’ve been able to experience even a glimpse of the scene that day, and I cannot imagine what I would have walked away thinking or talking about.  I have the benefit of it all being written down, and of reading it a handful of verses at a time.  But I could still spend days (or even longer) diving deeper into single phrases within single verses … so much wisdom and truth.  I have no doubt there were men and women who left that day with pieces of His words etched on their hearts and minds.  A man convicted by the truth that in simply looking at another woman in lust, he was guilty of adultery in his heart.  A woman in mourning, who heard with her heart and soul the desperately needed promise of comfort.  Men, women and children who left that day challenged to love … not just those who were easy to, but those they considered as enemies.

In taking it all in, I have a longer list of questions than truths (and that list is long).  But more than that, I have a heart that is growing in gratitude for the gift of scripture.  Being there that day would have been amazing.  Holding the sacred text in my hand, with the opportunity to read and re-read, study and commit it to memory, however, is priceless.  This is our gift and treasure; to read and experience the words of Jesus … to pour over them, to meditate on them, to bind them to our hands and forehead, heart and soul, and allow them to change us.  This is our gift and treasure.

I’d like to share a short and personal story from last week that I recorded in my journal and is locked in my memory.  It was early on the first day of the new year and I was sitting, Moleskine notebook open, talking with God, and wondering through prayer what this year would be like.  The word “posture” entered my mind, and very soon after, my youngest son walked into the room.  We are both early risers and often share morning moments together, but because of the holiday schedule, it had been a couple of weeks since we sat together in my sacred spot on the living room couch.  With my only prompt being a welcoming smile, he walked over and snuggled into the space next to me, laying his head on my lap.  He sat quietly for a minute and then began with the questions (he is an inquisitive soul).  In an instant, I “saw” the word that had entered my mind only moments before this precious boy entered the room.  The scene of he and I, was the scene of He and I.  This would be my posture this year … curled up, head on my Father’s lap, resting, talking and questioning.

Your journey with Him through this year is absolutely your own.  What will your posture be?  I pray you experience an enduring closeness like the one illustrated in my early morning moment.

His words … they are our gift and treasure.


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