Be ye mindful always of his covenant;
the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;
1 Chronicles 16 verse 15
Have you ever yearned for spiritual nourishment: the spiritual equivalent to ‘manna in the wilderness'? I know that I have and still do at times.
As is so often the case the answer is found in the wisdom of a small child. Myrna Laverty (3) shows us the way when she sings a familiar children’s song with a small yet profound change in the words… “Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so much.”
Myrna with addition of the single word ‘much’ transforms the bible into a living vessel through which the word of God is relevant for 2014 and ages to come. Myrna at three is experiencing the bible stories for the first time and she is fully present in her experience. These are not old familiar stories full of meanings learned long ago. They are new and exciting.
I can remember experiencing some of Myrna’s wonder as teenager. I found comfort in sitting in the empty sanctuary at First Mennonite Church where I read aloud from the bible, shouting the words at times and others whimpering the words through unabashed tears. The bible at these times was a living conduit through which my spirit sought connection with God.
Now at 58 I am learning to seek spiritual sustenance again in the bible. Approaching the bible as Myrna does or as I did as a teenager expectant, and fully engaged in the process. I have learned to take the hand of God and follow where I am led. Beloved scriptures, known since childhood reveal new meanings, provide answers to my questions and strengthen me. In these moments I experience the spiritual blessing of ‘manna in the wilderness’. When I go to the bible in expectation of hearing the present voice of God, like the Israelites in the desert, I find the Holy Spirit there and I hunger spiritually no more.
And like the manna the Israelites received in the desert, spiritual manna cannot be horded against a day when we cannot find God’s presence nor can it be brought out as proof of our blessedness.
What is it that I describing? I am describing the practice of being mindful in our daily bible readings. Reading the bible with an expectation that new truths will be revealed. Being open to old and familiar words suddenly bursting forth with new meanings, wisdom and direction.
Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so much !