by Marc Wallis
An Infinite Invitation
This past Sunday, I had the honor of speaking at Makers during our Manifesto Series on the topic: The Bible is Our Manuscript.
I have a deep love and reverence for the Scriptures so it was an exciting and humbling privilege. Sobering too since most of us bring baggage when it comes to the Bible, from all over the spectrum, and that’s not to be taken lightly.
Honestly though, throughout the process I kept wondering who was I to offer anything to this ancient and ongoing conversation on Scriptures. Countless generations of far wiser women and men have pondered and pontificated far more powerfully than I ever could. What have I to add? Maybe not much. But, as cliche as it might sound, I do have one vital addition – my story. And it’s the same thing we all have, for our stories are a part of this whole God-breathing process we are all called into. (God breathes into us and we breathe back with our words, our actions, our creativity, our worship, our lives).
My Sunday talk focused more on the overall nature, structure, and purposes of Scriptures. We touched on all kinds of things from Poems to Parables, Gardens to Whales (or Big Fish), Game of Thrones (duh) and even The Beatles. But here, instead, I’d like to share – just a bit – on what Scriptures means to me personally.
Because you see, I’ve always found it fascinating how Jesus often asked his followers, “Who do the people say I am?”, then followed it with the infinitely more important question, “Who do you say I am?”.
Anyone can state that Jesus is Lord and Savior of the world. But is he your Lord and Savior? Is he mine? This is a question we must all answer, perhaps even daily.
Similarly, we can talk theory all day about what the Bible is or isn’t, or what it does or doesn’t or should or shouldn’t mean. And that’s all good. It’s important. We are meant to search and study and wrestle with Scriptures, for authentic knowledge helps foster intimacy. But greater than hearing is doing, and greater than knowing is loving. So what matters most is how we each answer for ourselves – not merely with our minds, but with our hearts, souls and actions as well – “What do Scriptures mean to me, and what do I do with that?”.
For me, in this season, three words come to my mind…
I believe with every fiber and bone of my being that the Scriptures are sacred. There are many general arguments why…but for me, it’s because they led me to Jesus when I was 17 and transformed my life forever. I didn’t see it coming. Did not anticipate the moment or the effects. The words from and about this Jesus – this person who could not be contained by box or label or paradigm, who was a radically new example of love for me – ignited something in my soul. My “heart was burning within me” as I read and hasn’t stopped burning since. Sure, there have been times when the fire dimmed – but it was then also that Scriptures became the fuel once more, and my bread, my sustenance, my guidance, my conviction, my comfort, my lifeline. I can think of several moments when its promises were the only thing that kept me hanging on. To me, that is sacred.
The Scriptures are endlessly intriguing to me. They’re mysterious, compelling, practical, powerful, unique, life-giving, trustworthy, inspired, authoritative, foundational, formational and more flavorful over time, like I suspect the wine Jesus made at Cana was 🙂 So many aspects, from how they were written and compiled to the characters themselves, are unexpected – but I believe utterly intentional. God’s love and intricate plan are written everywhere, in every nook and cranny and yet discovered place. I still have a sense of wonder when I read the Bible. Perhaps curiosity is a requisite for sensing the holy?…
I heard it said once that the Scriptures were not meant to end a conversation, but to start one. Which makes sense given how Jesus was always inviting people to step into something new – to “come and see”, to “get up and walk” and to “follow me,” I pray we never stop seeing the Bible as an invitation into something greater than ourselves – into a relationship with the Living God, and into a new future full of purpose and calling and hope.