John Calvin compared the Scriptures to a pair of reading glasses. He believed that the Scriptures, like a pair of reading glasses, enabled a person to see (and know) God more clearly. The Scriptures made clear what the world or our minds made blurry. It’s a brilliant metaphor.
Here’s what he says about it (and yes I had to read this about 5 times to really understand what Calvin was saying):
For as the aged, or those whose sight is defective, when any book, however fair, is set before them, though they perceive that there is something written, are scarcely able to make out two consecutive words, but, when aided by glasses, begin to read distinctly, so Scripture, gathering together the impressions of Deity, which, till then, lay confused in our minds, dissipates the darkness, and shows us the true God clearly.
I discovered this metaphor in seminary. It was something that has stuck with me amid the numerous papers, books, and lectures in my years in the classroom. Honestly, I’m not sure why. It’s not all that profound or extraordinary. But, honestly, maybe that’s why I like it so much. It’s common. It’s normal. &… I wear glasses.
Calvin’s metaphor makes sense to me because it’s something I experience every day. No glasses = not being able to see and function like a normal human being. Not wearing my glasses means I can’t fully take in all of the life that’s happening around me. And this is the same with the Scriptures. The more I read and dive into the Scriptures, the more I see and understand God & the more clear my vision and focus are.
But here’s what this has to do with you & me & this blog…
I love the Scriptures. And one of my passions is helping others read and understand the Bible. I just love it. I love how the scriptures breathe life and conviction and clarity into the deepest parts of our souls. How it shapes and speaks truth in places where human words or understanding fall short. My favorite time of the day is grabbing some coffee (preferably hot- if you have kids this makes sense), sitting in my favorite chair, and spending time quieting my soul and listening to God, through His Word and our time together.
And so, my idea for this blog (& if I’m lucky- one day a book) is to provide people with the tools and resources needed to read and be led by the Scriptures. No, you don’t need a pastor or random girl on social media telling you how to read the Bible in order to understand it- Martin Luther fought this fight in the Reformation. I just hope to provide some tools and resources to help you dig a little deeper into the Scriptures, in your quiet times, bible studies, or small groups.
If you’re at all like me you’ve come up against a couple of issues, (at some point) on your Christian journey, with the word “DEVOTIONAL:”
They are either too dense and homework heavy (thus not relatable/realistic for my stage of life) OR
They are too light and filled with a bunch of “feel good” stories and don’t teach much about THE BIBLE.
Notice the emphasis on THE BIBLE. I’ve found a good number of studies that will give me day-by-day readings or inspirations, mostly involving life stories or experiences, but little meat with verses or Scripture itself. I also have found a ton of commentaries I love. But these all felt a little dry and weighty for my quiet time readings. And honestly, both of these resources are amazing. There is, no doubt, a need for them. I, however, desperately desired a straightforward, devotional-type bible study resource that didn’t feel like a commentary or an author’s life story with some random scripture passages thrown in.
I longed for something clean, to the point, and easy to follow that helped me read and understand the Bible a little better. And not only that but the author didn’t tell me what to think or “get” out of a particular passage. It just prompted me to think, to pray, to listen to God say what it was He desired to say.
I’ve been working, volunteering, and leading in ministry for over 15 years now (wow that made me feel old) and these 2 issues were a piece in my earning a Masters of Divinity and later becoming ordained in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. I believe the Christian community desperately needs educated people (women, in particular) who can provide a resource that is something in-between a cutesy feel good story and a dry commentary.
One of the lessons God keeps teaching me is- if it’s something you’re thirsty for or want… then go be or do that for others…& stop whining about it. Honestly, I’m kind of tired of this lesson. Whining is so much easier. And way less complicated.
Is this blog/ [re]SOURCE the solution? Probably not.
I am… well, just me. Regular ole’ Jessica Morris. I’m not a brilliant scholar or theologian who randomly bursts out into Greek or Hebrew throughout the day. I’m also not the best, well-polished author who knows when to use “then” or “than” or “well” or “good” correctly. I am a 100 percent ordinary woman who just so happens to be ordained and have her Masters in Divinity and loves Jesus and the bible and speaking God’s truth. Really that’s all. Well, obviously, I also love my husband and my two little girls and coffee… a lot. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you know this to be true (sorry I’m not sorry- they are THE BEST).
So maybe this makes you excited. Maybe this confuses you. But the point is I want us to practice digging deeper. Reading and listening to the Scriptures. Stopping. Being still. Listening. And using the millions of resources we are surrounded by in order to put on our glasses and really read and spend time in the one, very tangible resource God left us with… the Bible.
& I have come up an aid, a [re]SOURCE, to help walk us through a richer, deeper quiet time or bible study. Hope this excites you as much as it does me.
Also, if you want to receive a copy of my first [re]SOURCE, make sure you’re signed up for my NEWSLETTER! First copies go out to my email team;)