Seeker: “How can young people keep their way pure? By guarding it according to your word.”
Preacher: The bible is not just a story book; or keeping this passage in mind, not just a book of poems. It is a guide back to living an accountable life before the Divine.
Seeker: That is very true, Preacher. It is more than a book; it represents the Spirit of the Divine; and what the children of the Divine have heard. It is a reflection not so much of precisely who the Divine is, but what the Divine has been understood as. Sometimes we get it right; and sometimes we get it wrong.
Preacher: “With my whole heart I seek you; do not let me stray from your commandments. I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.”
Seeker: It is interesting to think about the fact that as Jesus grew up he heard the same message, albeit in the language of his time, that we hear from the Old Testament. At least, I think I am accurate in this.
Preacher: It is hard to discern what parts of the Torah and the sacred writing were in use by Jesus’ time. I am thinking that the Psalms were part of the Septuagint; that is the collection of writings that came down to disciples and Jesus. The Jews studied it in two ways; first, what it said and what message/meaning it intended to transmit. Secondly, as a guide book as you said Seeker. In our modern times we study it the same way.
Seeker: “Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes. With my lips I declare all the ordinances of your mouth. I delight in the way of your decrees as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts, and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.” (Psalm 119:9-16)
Preacher: But we do not have just the bible to guide us. We have the inspiration and presence of the Divine. Jesus, in the way he related to the Lord God showed his disciples / apostles, and all of us who came after him, showed us how we can approach and seek out the Divine Lord God.
Seeker: I read in the Gospel passage for this week that sometimes when Jesus spoke, the Lord God was also heard confirming what Jesus had said. We who believe may feel we hear (and I am not questioning that) the Divine. But Jesus did, as did the people around him. Interestingly Jesus said it was for those listening to him who were to benefit, and not Jesus himself.
Preacher: Do you understand why Jesus said that, Seeker? That Jesus was so in tune with the Divine, One as some understand the relationship, that Jesus did not need vocal audio confirmation. But we do. We need to hear, in all the ways that we can, what the Divine has to say to us. Through scripture, prayer, songs, and visual media – just to name a few. Every sense that humanity has helps to inform us of the Divine.
Seeker: It is a sign and symbol to me, Preacher, that the Divine reaches out to humanity. What pure and perfect love that Divine has for humanity that the Lord God never ceases in connecting with us!
Preacher: Shalom & Selah, Seeker! Shalom & Selah!