Eugene Peterson is one of my favorite authors. He wrote a wonderful little book that highlighted the spiritual practice of reading Scripture. It is called Eat This Book. His metaphor is about developing an appetite for God’s Word and the ability to slowly digest the Bible in small bites. He does not recommend that we physically bite, chew and digest the paper and ink but he does encourage us to make a healthy diet of the Word.
On the other hand, the prophet Jeremiah found occasion to literally eat the ancient Scriptures. And here in the Book of Revelation we find a mysterious interaction between heavenly beings and the writer of the revelation. In a vision a powerful angel steps forth with a voice like the seven thunders. But when it comes time to write down the reveled word a voice from heaven says – seal it up, do not write it down. Ultimately a small scroll is presented and the invitation is to ingest the scroll that is described as sweet like honey. At first the scroll seems to be sweet and good but soon after swallowing it become sour and bitter.
I am OK with not knowing. But I am also OK with a God who does know and who promises to make all things new in the right time. So I am content to wait. When the time is right, God will reveal the ultimate and detailed meanings that we need to understand for our personal faith. In the meantime, will you join me in affirming the words of Hebrews 11:1? “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” That affirmation is at the heart of our Lenten journey. It is more about faith than about knowledge!