LAYERS OF UNDERSTANDING

"The Wave", a 190 million year old Jurassic-age Navajo sandstone rock formation, Coyotte Buttes North, Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area, Utah-Arizona border, USA

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and…that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19

 

A sandstone rock formation near the Arizona-Utah border in the United States is known as The Wave. The rock is popular for its colorful, undulating stripes eroded into the Navajo Sandstone of the Jurassic geological era. The striations in the rock were first formed by slow water runoff. After troughs were formed, the runoff shrank to insufficient portions to continue cutting the rock. Then the wind took over, created more and different patterns. Continued erosion of the rock is dependent upon the speed and direction of today’s winds.

 

The Wave rock formation reminds me of how we can develop layers of understanding of the Bible. As we study the Word of God and become more and more familiar with the characters and events of Bible times, the Holy Spirit opens our hearts and minds so that we are able to more fully understand what God is telling us through His Word. Someone completely unfamiliar with the Bible, as I was before I became a Christian, may feel that the Word is impenetrable, like a rock formation. But like a rock formation, the stories in the Bible have grown deeper over time as God’s people have seen the threads that carry through the great and mighty work of our Lord.

 

Sunday school students at our church learn a very basic way of describing the themes of the Bible: the Old Testament means “Jesus is coming,” and the New Testament means “Jesus is here.” This is pretty simplistic for most adults studying God’s Word, but the idea is that Christ’s coming is predicted by Old Testament prophets and comes true by the time we get to the Gospels. Intertwined with this theme, of course, is the problem of sin and the solution of Christ dying as a once-for-all sacrifice for all the sins of humankind. God’s Word is not an impenetrable rock formation. It is living and breathing and moving inside of us every day in the form of the Holy Spirit.

 

You are our Rock, Dear Lord. But you are also moving and flowing in us every day. Amen

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