“Mary Cosby used to begin her New Testament class by bending her soft-cover Bible and saying she preferred a Bible that was flexible. Then she would say, ‘The Bible is not a manual for morality, but a mirror for identity.”’ —Carol Martin, Bread of Life Church, “A Mirror for Identity” at InwardOutward.org, Church of the Saviour, July 15, 2018.
My first introduction to this deeper and more flexible Bible study was with a small group of people at St. Mark’s in Little Rock in the 1990s with a leader named Dick Moore in a room above the children’s classrooms that we called “the upper room.” As we studied the books of the Bible, Dick reminded us that the Bible was a roadmap, not the destination.
I think of old friends like Carole and Gary Kimmel who were in our class who now live on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I remember Betty and Brady Anderson, who went on to be Bible translators in Africa in Tanzania, and how Brady later became the American Ambassador to that country. They taught me so much. Together we uncovered new insights from the Bible that had never before occurred to us.
As we saw God present in the lives of people in the Bible who were just like us—with gifts and faults—we also became more aware of God, the Holy Spirit, at work in our own and others’ lives. We began to see that the relationship of the Holy Spirit did not end with first- and second-century Christians; rather, the Spirit is still leading us today. If we believe only a strict, literal translation of the Bible, we are denying the continued presence of the Holy Spirit working in our lives today and ever bringing us more good news.
I am thinking of the Bible I received from my Bishop eighteen years ago at my ordination. It, as well, is flexible.
Come and get a signed copy of the new book
Just in time for the holidays
A Spiritual Rx for Advent Christmas, and Epiphany
The Sequel to A Spiritual Rx for Lent and Easter
Both are $18
All Money from sale of the books goes either to Camp Mitchel Camp and Conference Center in Arkansas or Hurricane Relief in the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast
Seibert’s, 27 River Ridge Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72227
10 to noon, Saturday September 14, 2019