"Hear, O Israel."
"But hear what? The Bible is hundreds upon hundreds of voices all calling at once out of the past and clamoring for our attention like barkers at a fair, like air-raid sirens, like a whole barnyard of cockcrows as the first long shafts of dawn fan out across the sky.
"Some of the voices are shouting, like Moses' voice, so all Israel, all the world, can hear. Some are so soft and halting that you can hardly hear them at all, like Job with ashes on his head and his heart broken or like old Simeon whispering, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace."1
"The prophets shrill out in their frustration, their rage, their holy hope and madness. The priests drone on and on about the dimensions and furniture of the Temple. The lawgivers spell out what to eat and what not to eat; and the historians list the kings, the battles, the tragic lessons of Israel's history.
"And somewhere in the midst of them all one particular voice speaks out. It is unlike any other voice because it speaks so directly to the deepest privacy and longing and weariness of each of us that there are times when the centuries are blown away like mist. It is as if we stand with no shelter of time at all between ourselves and the one who speaks our secret name.
"Come," the voice says. "Unto me. All ye. Every last one."
from A Room Called Remember by Frederick Buechner. Quoted by Bob Benson in Disciplining for the Inner Life
|The Bible is a big book. There are lots of subplots and stories in it. But they all tie into a major story line. That story line can be told in a page or less. Want to know how to do that? [ read more ]|
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