Monday Rewrite: The Bible is not a work of art (a prayer)

Lord, save us from sticking your word into a glass case, from holding it at arm’s length when it belongs in the sublime and crooked ways of our living. Help us to find ourselves in that good book, to lose ourselves and find ourselves in it, and to allow it to bleed across the pages of our dull, ordinary, magical, happy, heartbroken nights and days. Let us find reality, acceptance and grace in those pages, and the raw and startling and heartening truth of your love with us in the dark and the light. Help us if we need to struggle with it, to wrestle it to the ground and to allow it to wrestle us to the ground. And in the wrestling to discover again the meaning of grace, and the God who really does work in the unexpected ways and unexpected people, none more unexpected than us, none more unexpected than me and those around me. Save us from enshrining it in the wrong way, placing it where only dust and cobwebs can reach, and may it draw questions and reality and hope from us. And the kind of vision a person can find in a valley full of lifeless and dusty bones. Because our lives are so often full of lifeless and dusty things. Help us not only to turn those pages and read them, but to let it read us, to allow it to turn the pages of our past, present and future. And in doing so to bring your compassion into the pain, your mercy into the mixed motives, your transforming assurance into our hurt and stuck places, and your forgiveness into the fearful and bitter moments. Read us and renew us Lord, please. And help us to discover and rediscover that you never leave us on the shelf. Amen.

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