Sonny with a Chance

The Bible: A Book of Comfort

Sonny DispositionMy friend Sonny saw me in the Mall today and we had a bit of a chat. He said something very wise, which I pointed out was similar to something Jesus had said. At that point he produced a well worn, well loved Bible, and began reading it to me.



 

Proclaiming the mysteries of God

Sonny showed me that his Bible is like a wallet, containing all kinds of different cards and folded pieces of paper. He treasures it.

He opened it to a seemingly significant point and read, haltingly, for me:

When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen. Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met Him. – Lk 9:36-37

It is unclear what particular meaning this holds for him, but he read it with solemnity, then closed the Bible in a decisive gesture of finality, and knowingly repeated, “a great multitude met Him”.

I strongly suspect that it would not have mattered where the Bible fell open. I expect he would have read any small collection of verses in precisely the same solemn manner. What struck me is the unmistakable sense of reverence he displayed.

The Spirit of God

Jesus told his followers:

But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning. – Jn 15:26-27

Sonny is not a theologian. But then, Jesus didn’t require his followers to be theologians. He promised them his Spirit, in which they would minister.

When Sonny was ministering to me in this way I was struck by his reverence, but actually, I was deeply touched by the evident comfort that the Bible imparts to him. As he was reading, his voice was revealing that he was evidently comforted by what he was reading, even though the actual words seemed to have little specific meaning.

The Bible

I recall my own early experience of reading the Bible. There was a lot I didn’t understand, but it was just so darn beautiful! I frequently had eyes so full of tears that I couldn’t read the words, but my experience was that God’s own Spirit would read it to me as I sobbed.

How alike we are, Sonny and me!

A Theology Degree

I’m now drawing near the end of a theology degree. I fairly thoroughly understand what the Bible says and why it says it. I know the text Sonny read me, and I could write essays on it. But none of that would grant me the peace and comfort that Sonny got from reading it out.

One of the things I have most diligently and deliberately retained throughout my course of study is my reverence and affection for God’s word. I have cultivated my own deep sense of peace, comfort and joy as I read it, forwards, backwards, in various translations, commentated by countless scholars, and even in Greek.

Sonny ministered very powerfully to me today, reminding me of a precious truth:

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God the foolish things in the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. – 1 Cor 26:29

Thanks, brother.


 


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