The next prompt from Writing in the Margins:
Turn to 2 Timothy 3:12-17. What does Timothy affirm engagement with scripture will accomplish? Write down three elements necessary for creative reading of a holy text?
Toward the first question…
According to the passage, engaging scripture can….
- Lead you to wisdom;
- Prepare you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus;
- Train you in righteousness;
- Offer teaching, reproof, and correction;
- Equip you for every good work;
- Make you whole and complete;
- Fill you with the breath of God, which is life.
Towards the second question…
Three elements necessary for creative reading of a holy text:
- Time to read, absorb, and reflect upon the Scripture.
- A personal response from the reader to God (artwork, a journal entry, music)
- A personal response from God to the reader (allowing Scripture help shape and create the reader!)
A few random thoughts about this passage:
I just finished reading a really fascinating book about acupuncture (of all things) called The Spark in the Machine by Dr. Daniel Keown. Truthfully, before reading the book I had very little interest in acupuncture, but I was curious about yin, yang, and chi, and the thought popped in my head that it might help to read about acupuncture if I want to understand these concepts in a practical way. I was very surprised that I could not put the book down. The author does an amazing job capturing the wonder of embryonic development as he relates acupuncture points to organization centers in embryonic development and acupuncture channels to the fasciae planes. Wow! Anyway, he describes “chi” in a very simple and pragmatic way. Chi as “intelligent metabolism” or the way our bodies use air and food to give us energy for everything from embryonic development to daily activities to healing. As I prepared a list of what Scripture can accomplish, it made me think of the book I just read and also a banner painted at the martial arts school where my son studies: “More chi. Train harder.” As God’s breath, Scripture helps us to live with much greater intelligence about the things that matter most in life. It gives us wisdom and helps us see the error of our ways so that we can direct our energy in ways that bear fruit. It trains and equips us for every good work. Scripture makes us whole and complete. And it guides us on the path to eternal life.
I really like the way my Bible translates this passage: “All Scripture is breathed out by God.” Genesis teaches that it is God’s breath that brought Adam to life and Adam’s sin that resulted in death. I’ve never thought of this before, but to say that Scripture is God’s breath is to give scripture the power to bring us fully to life and restore us to God; to make us “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
I feel blessed to have been acquainted with scripture from childhood and feel extremely grateful for the ways that working my way through Writing in the Margins has deepened my relationship with the Word. I found myself humming the hymn “Breath on Me, Breath of God”, and the first verse found itself onto the margins of my Bible…