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New Journey, New Ear

It's been a couple weeks now since my last post, much going on and a good point for a break, as I had finished my annual read through the scriptures.

Yes, fifty years ago, I made a commitment to a 93 year old whose felt, personal presence had caught my attention as a new believer. When I ask a reason for what I felt, this humble mountain lady in a "feed sack dress", finally offered one thing she felt might have shaped such presence. She had read the scriptures "from Genesis to Maps" every year of her life since age eleven!

Now 50 years into my commitment, my thoughts and actions have been shaped and reshaped by a continuous, unexpected and quite progressive annual revelation, at least relative to my Pentecostal, evangelical heritage.

I'm sure if you have read previous blogs, that should be evident. If not, this is your invitation!

Just two days ago, I began what is likely to have been somewhere between 50 and 100 times through multiple versions of the scriptures. This transition is purposefully stark, as I am making a shift from my old KJV to an online version of Eugene Peterson's The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (MSG).

I can only imagine Moses' excitement as I read Peterson's quite contemporary interpretation:

"First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss. God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared. God saw that light was good and separated light from dark. God named the light Day, he named the dark Night. It was evening, it was morning— Day One."

Genesis 1:1-5 MSG

He sounds connected in a way which at times, I too have experienced! Thrilled to the core by a Presense and then guided by insights beyond any present "knowing".

Relative to the deluge of information available today by way of satellite imagery, let alone the Webb and Hubble telescopes, Moses was quite limited in depth of understanding, though no doubt educated well in the Pharaoh's house.

His real advantage however, and so much so that his writings are still revered after millennia, he was personally prepared by the "I Am!" or as he describes it, "a burning bush...not consumed!"

As I write, it occurs to me how powerful that real moment for Moses must have been, for sure quite spirit filled, setting his bush afire! Likely also daily relit, yet never, his full self consumed.

The latter may be why we see such incidents as him striking the rock, when his instruction was to speak to it!

The fire of the Spirit is sufficient to set our lives ablaze, but our unique selves sometimes become a challenge.

Maybe the objective is not that we be consumed, but by the Spirit more discerning and disciplined, our uniqueness never lost.

Again, at 76, I can only imagine this 80 year old, born a Hebrew, tucked away in a handmade, tar and fiber basket, discovered by the Pharoah's daughter, then in a providentially God fashioned conversation, allowed to be nutured at the breast of his own mother.

Educated by the Pharoah, only to later grasp his heritage, then defending his enslaved kindred, which would cost him everything.

Post the Red Sea adventure, he then faces a disgruntled mass of the same kinfolk, which likely required some explanation of how they got there!

Welcome to the Torah!

As a wannabe author, I can only image his early days with I Am, as he crafted his first few chapters. Sitting outside the camp, with a tall order, he looks up:

"First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see."

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