A couple summers ago I teased my friend Brent when he told me that he had been studying the Gospel of John with a friend for the past four years. I laughed and told him that he could gotten a doctorate on the Gospel of John in that much time. Ha! I guess that means that I should have at least an M.Div. in the time it’s taken me to work my way through the Gospel of Matthew. Ack.
Okay, honestly, the actual time I’ve spent studying Matthew probably doesn’t equate a couple 16 week undergrad courses (Matt 1 & Matt II!). I know I’ve made a comment about this before, but it’s a pain to have studied the Bible so much before, such that I can’t just read a passage, but I really have to meditate and think through my reading to sense the benefits. But… well, the laziness of not reading is a no win situation either. I may often be too liberal for my Vineyard friends, but there is just something that I need that I can only get from time spent in the scriptures. Over the short years of my current journey the times when I’ve felt the most enthusiastic and “together” has been when I’ve had a structured, somewhat academic study in the scriptures to look forward to. The most recent example of this was when Pastor Jim launched into his study of Revelation and the time before that was when my Anglican/Episcopalian friend, Chris, was leading our small group through the last small epistles of the New Testament.
Maybe all of this is about a need to balance my great capacity for passionate/emotional expression through music and worship with things much less emotional. Having the great desire to sing and play is balanced with a practical, somewhat intellectual need for the scriptures in my life (though under the surface, even as I write these words I can feel the excitement I have for being “in the Word” and doing that with my close friends and community of believers). JBB
Music: So I Worship – Chris Miller – Vineyard Club Volume 53