[Note: I've broken my sermon into two parts for navigating convenience. This is the first part: Why Should We Read the Bible?, and I've linked to the second post which was the second half of the sermon: The Gospel According to the Wasteland.]
This week we continue our series Looking for Jesus: Learning to Read the Bible & the World Through New Eyes. This week we ask the question: Why Should We Read the Bible? And for our case study, we will look at the themes of exile and barrenness.
How does this fit with Advent?
We said last week that like the saints of the Old Covenant, we are looking for Jesus in at least two senses: We are blind and need to see Him in the Scriptures, and we need to see Him in our world, in our stories. And these two things are connected.
Luke 24 recounts the famous story of the two disciples leaving Jerusalem in sadness and disappointment. They had hoped that Jesus was the Messiah, the One who was to redeem Israel. But when the risen Jesus overtakes them and begins talking to them, they do not recognize Him. As they explain their disappointment and sadness, Jesus calls them fools for being “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken,” and Luke says, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Lk. 24:25, 27) The disciples didn’t recognize Jesus right in front of them because they had not recognized Jesus in the Scriptures. They didn’t know the part of the story they were in because they didn’t know the story of Scripture. And left to ourselves, we’re foolish disciples, blind and deaf and can’t see or hear Jesus in the Bible or in our stories, unless Jesus opens our eyes. All of us are looking for Jesus at various points along the road to Emmaus this Advent and Christmas. All of us are in the same predicament as Ezekiel when he was commanded to preach to the dry bones (Ez. 37). Can dry bones live? If God is willing, the Spirit will cause the Word to give life. Continue Reading…