Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Holy Bible....ugh.

I used to write more blogs like this, about spiritual things, when I first started. Lightly. But I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Bible these days studying our Savior’s life and ministry. I know there are a number of people who aren’t of my faith who read my blog so for you, I’m warning you now that there is no quick wit or good humor to find here today (sort of). Just some thoughts about scripture that I wanted to get on paper that I hope you’ll be interested in reading anyway.

These are just a few versus out of Matthew 5. I usually find no particular excitement in reading the Bible because… to be utterly honest… it bores me sometimes. But I think that’s because whenever I’ve tried to get through it, I start with Genesis. I’m pretty sure I’ve got Genesis memorized for all the times I’ve tried to read the Old Testament and never got past that first book before I awoke to uncrinkle the pages that had become imprinted on my face and wipe away the drool. Then I pick in up again, months later, and start at the beginning….again. So this time, I broke all the rules and started in the middle.

I like reading scripture and then trying to put in in everyday language. It makes it come to life and helps me make sense of all the old language. You may read these and think “you’re totally missing the point of that scripture!” But there can be many interpretations to one verse. I am merely sharing one of many that I liked. These verses aren’t in order either. I’ve never been one for order… just as my laundry room.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs in the kingdom of heaven.”
At first when I read this I thought “poor in spirit? Like…sad? …So I should go around moping, and then I get the kingdom? Well that doesn’t sound right!” And of course it isn’t. Poor in spirit refers to humility. And since my pride happens to be my number one nemesis, that makes the game a little more interesting.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
I thought I knew what meek meant until I read the reference for this specific verse. It describes it as gentle, forgiving and benevolent… but not only that. It also says that they are characterized as the humble who have suffered.
I think there are people in this life (myself included) who become jaded by life. But this verse plainly tells us that becoming hard and callused from the world is a choice. There ARE people who choose to be meek- and to me, from this definition, they deserve to inherit something huge like a planet! Because they aren’t described as someone who has had a fairly easy life. No, it’s talking about people who have suffered, yet still CHOOSE to be gentle, forgiving and benevolent. That says volumes about them.

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.”
In the footnotes it says peacemaker is to be identified with contentment. Again I thought… what they heck? What does contentment have to do with peacemakers? Then I thought of it on a larger scale like nations at war. Why do we ever go to war? If you think about it, most of the time, it’s because someone somewhere isn’t content with what they have. They want more. More power, more money, more respect etc. And suddenly, they are willing to disrupt the peace to get it.
On a smaller scale, this scripture is for the individuals who are content with what they have, for they help keep the peace and are therefore truly worthy to be related to God through such an intimate title.

“Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.”
My first reaction to this verse was “…that’s it?” Everybody else in these versus get all these massive amazing gifts like inheriting kingdoms and worlds and titles …and all these guys get is a hug? ….this is why I have to really STUDY scripture. Otherwise, I wouldn’t stop to realize that it’s so much more than that.
I think about the times in my life when I’ve really suffered. Times in my life when I’ve watched people I love suffer. Suffer through things that I can’t help them with. Do you know what that’s like? Trying to help someone when you know there is nothing you can do? It’s in times like those that I am most thankful for this scripture because it gives me hope that even through the most sorrowful events, they will be comforted. We all can be comforted. And that’s no small gift.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
This one strikes home for me. There are things I’ve done in my life that I’m not proud of. Things that deep down I feel like I haven’t been a whole person since because it’s created so much pain for others. I know I wouldn’t feel that way if I truly let the atonement do it’s job and that’s something I’m working on. But that’s why I love this verse so much, because in the meantime, I feel like there is something I can do to “regain points in heaven” and that’s be merciful to everyone else who crosses me. Maybe what this verse SHOULD mean to me (since I can’t think of anyone I hold malice for right now) is that I should be more merciful to myself as well. Humm…that’s food for thought.

More food for thought later! It’s time to get on with my day and stop trying to make sense of the world.