Well, today has been intense! Wow!
New Testament hermeneutics… Covering everything from the writers and editors of Scripture, the essential nature of critical text reading and the importance of understanding Greek… (I’m majorly over-simplifying 6 hours of lectures here, but you get the picture…)
But I’m not going to blog about that.
I’m not an expert and I’m still processing wealth of notes, so my ramblings would probably be little more than a confusing mass of words right now!!
Instead my focus tonight is on a couple of meditations.
1) If we have any hope of accurate Biblical interpretation, we need to rely fully on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I know that’s obvious, and should go without saying, and I also know that as someone who still has an incredibly large amount to learn, it might sound easy to say… But I really believe it. We can get bogged down in the academics. And I know some who lose hope in the Word because of doubt or confusion when they start to wrestle with hermeneutics and interpretation. But I’m actually loving discovering more about the richness of the Bible, about the application of Scripture, and about the way in which it can stand up and stand firm under our questioning and research. There’s so much depth, and there are so many questions we don’t yet know the answers to… But yet, still the Word of God is living and active and beautiful. And the more we discuss and read, the more I realise that I need to rely fully on the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of both my mind and my heart.
Which leads me into thought number…
2) Jesus is our unshakable foundation. In our class devotionals this morning we read Psalm 121, ‘I lift my eyes up to the hills… My help comes from the Lord…’ and sang ‘On Christ the solid rock I stand…’ Which was a wonderful way to start the day. As we prayed this morning I felt like Jesus was very close to me, and I remembered a picture that He gave me when I was in Tokyo last month. I had been praying for Him to be my unshakable safe place in an unfamiliar city, and after praying that I went into a small local gift shop. And as I was walking around the shop, I felt the Holy Spirit say He wanted to speak to me through the picture on a card… And so I went to the cards, and this one was there at the front:
And it was like Jesus just used it to answer my prayer. He said, ‘Always. You are safe here. Here in the unshakable place of my embrace and my covering. Wherever you go, I am there.’
So today, in the midst of great and new and sometimes mind-boggling learning today, I was reminded of He who is the Chief Cornerstone. He who stands firm as the eternal Messiah. He whose name is Jesus. And I love that reality.
Now, let’s see what delights tomorrow brings! 🙂
This evening I have also eaten some great Italian food, so as always, I’ll share a couple of other amusing photos with you! 😉