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Summer Reading

Summer is for reading. Looking for a beach read? I’d recommend John 21. The disciples haven’t caught any fish, Jesus tells them to lower the net on the other side, they catch 153 fish, and then they get to the beach, where Jesus has already caught fish and fried them. It’s a beach comedy. 

How about a romance novel? I’d check out Song of Solomon before Twilight. 5 bucks if you can read it without blushing. Looking for the next great spy novel? Better check out Joshua before Le Carré. Something with war? There’s Judges and Kings over and above Tom Clancy. Wanting to brush up on your epic poetry? Try the Prophets or the Psalms or Job before Homer, Simpson or otherwise. Looking to wade into Philosophy? Check out Proverbs and its darker cousin Ecclesiastes before Wittgenstein and Nietzche. How about something motivational? Try Paul in his highly motivational book called 2 Thessalonians, where he said if anyone isn’t willing to work, let him not eat!

The Bible doesn’t so much defy genre; it defines it. The reason book stores have different sections is because the Bible provides them. If you’re bored with the Bible, it’s your fault. There really is something for everyone. The girls have Queen Esther and the boys have Samson. Tax collectors have St. Matthew; blue collar workers have the carpenter. Parents have Deuteronomy; children have Jesus upholding them as the model of faith. 

If we’re bored with the Bible it’s because we’ve failed to realize what it is - it’s a fairy tale. Before there was Moby Dick in Melville, there was Leviathan in Job, Isaiah, and the Psalms. Before there were dragons from Mordor, there was Revelation, telling us about the dragon from hell. Before there was Narnia, there was a war waging between the serpent and the Lion of Judah. Before there were books, there was one book, and that one book has everything: history, romance, war, poetry, and even comedic relief. Fairy tales don’t exist to tell children that dragons are real. They already know that dragons are real. Fairy tales provide a St. George, a Peter Pevensie, an Aragorn, a Harry Potter to slay the dragon. The Bible doesn’t primarily exist to tell that the devil is real. It’s obvious that he is. The Bible tells us about Jesus Christ who crushes his head. 

We’ve thought that our children walk away from the faith because they think all this Christian stuff is just a fairy tale. In reality, they gave it up because they didn’t realize how real the dragon, the beasts, the 4 horses, the gold paved streets, and the emerald throne really are. 

I’m tempted to end with, “And they lived happily ever after.” I hope you realize how much that line costs. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The author of life gave up His life to give us the words of life. He wrote the book and signed it with His blood. So let’s get reading. There isn’t much time left. This is how the book ends, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”

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