Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Message

I've read the Bible in one Year, I've read the Bible piecemeal, I've read the Message piecemeal. However, with few exceptions, I don't feel like I've read it. I know I have, but it's not all in me. So I bought The Message Daily Bible. wow. WOW. First, I love the Message Bible. (If you're not familiar, a dedicated genius, Eugene Peterson, spent a decade translating the Bible from the early versions- Hebrew and Greek, he didn't start with NKJ- into modern language. That's almost an insulting summary in its lack, but you can click on the link if you want more.) It doesn't take you from start to finish in the Bible but rather bounces you around a bit. So I started with Genesis and even in modern language it's not terribly different from what I'm familiar with, however now I'm to Mark and look out! Parables were written to help the layman understand God. Well, they were written for the layman of the day, so I knew the parables but didn't have that "ooooohhhh" moment, "ooh, that's what that means" before. Until today. I'm going to paste my moment for you here- it's the parable of the seeds. One falls on the road, one in the rocks, one in the weeds, and one in the good soil. Well, what are the "weeds"? Untended land? That means you didn't really try to let the Word soak in? Honestly, I'm not sure I ever really sat and thought about it. I think it was filed away under Sunday School stories in my brain. Here's how the message says it:

"The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it." (Mark 4:18-19)

That made me stop. The stress strangling the Word? Could that hit me a little harder?  I pray for so much guidance these days and wonder why I'm not feeling it. Seeing it. Your heart knows when it finds the answers. I've been giving into so much stress lately I wasn't thinking about how that was affecting my reception of well, of everything. I feel like the that Word is in me now. Like I understand it, versus just memorizing it and accepting it to be true. I don't think I've ever been so excited to read the Bible. Truly. I want to understand it, but often it's just beyond me. Am I not giving it my full attention? Is it just me? Am I supposed to understand it? Well, the answer to A is surely yes, which takes me back that verse. Is it just me? I don't think so. Am I supposed to understand, I think yes! Will I read this book and then suddenly understand God? no. Absolutely not. But  will God's word be in me? A light unto my path? As it says in (the Message version) of Psalm 19:7-9

   The revelation of God is whole
      and pulls our lives together.
   The signposts of God are clear
      and point out the right road.
   The life-maps of God are right,
      showing the way to joy.
   The directions of God are plain
      and easy on the eyes. 

Which interestingly was the Psalm associated with today's reading. Hm. Today it was easy on the eyes.


  1. very nice post...I too apppreciate the Message..have you ever read any of Peterson's books...for instance...the three kings etc?

  2. No, I'll look into those! I love book recommendations!