Saturday, November 26, 2011

Digesting Scripture

I am terrible at memorization. Always have been. One of my clearest memories is reviewing multiplication flashcards with my mom for hour after frustrating hour, until exasperation finally set in for both of us and at least one abandoned the task in tears.

I believe with all my heart that Scripture memorization, particularly of longer passages, is critical to apprenticeship to Jesus. He knew Scripture, of course, and that's reason enough, but mimicking him in this is not the point. The point of memorization is to "eat the book" -- to digest it, to make it part of oneself. The Bible is the clearest shared record of God's self-revelation and our shared history; knowing it changes who we are, how we know God, and the people we are together.

For my current class, I have chosen Romans 8:15-39, The Message version. It begins like this:

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, gravetending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?"

Writing this from Little Rock, with Smyrna days off, this passage is ready for consumption, altogether nutritious. What's next, Papa, indeed.


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