Most royal greening verdancy,
Rooted in the sun,
You shine with radiant light,
in this circle of earthly existence
You shine so finely,
it surpasses understanding.
God hugs you.
You are encircled by the arms
of the mystery of God.
– Hildegard of Bingen
This blog exists because I need a place to talk about things that excite me about the Bible. I typed that word ‘excite’ just now and felt astonished by it because I actually mean it. I’m excited about the Bible. That is no small thing. I spent years hardly reading the Bible at all. There were years when, as Sunday approached, my stomach would go into knots and I would think, oh no, not church again. I suffered for decades from physical symptoms directly linked to trauma inflicted by other Christians. When it came to church, I wanted anything but church.
Many years ago, when I lived in America, a picture taken of me at a church function ended up on the church website. Who knows why they posted that picture because there was despair written all over my face. I hated being at church. I hated being around people who seemed to hate me.
Now, 20 years later, I write this blog as an expression of JOY. God Himself equipped me to reject the voices of legalism and theonomy and patriarchy and claim His word as a story for me, about me. This didn’t happen because I started reading the Bible more or praying more or somehow being a better person. I read the Bible with joy because of the friendship of other Christians, whom God brought into my life to bring me closer to him.
If you are a Christian, the Bible is YOUR story too. You might be someone who hates reading the Bible, who reads it out of duty, not joy. This blog is a love letter, written both to my younger self who carried a false burden of guilt and despair and to you, dear reader.
As a linguist, I work with texts day in and day out. Though I bring the skills of my training and profession to the Bible, God’s Word is like no other text. It isn’t a manual for life. It isn’t a list of rules. It isn’t a human invention. It is a story with authority, of incredible mystery and incomparable hope. It is a work of genius, a bottomless treasure chest full of gems to be discovered. On every page, the Creator of the universe is telling us something about Who He is and what He has planned for us.
Put simply, this blog documents my pursuit of Christ. I write with care, with knowlege of the creeds, knowing full well the danger (the horror!) of false teaching that separates people from the love of Christ.
But I also write with freedom, knowing that on this side of heaven, we will never have it all figured out and that there is joy in exploration.
And of course, I write as a woman, having witnessed that the Christian church is not loving or listening to women as we should.
And yet! In the Bible, the land, the people Israel, the city Jerusalem, the global church are feminine realities. When I read the Bible, I keep in my mind and heart where things end, or better yet, where things become NEW, when Jesus Christ will return and we will be reunited with Him in glory, as HIS BRIDE, in a new heavens and a new earth where all of creation will be restored in all its beauty.