So, generous Chocolate Book supporter Matt Rizkallah sponsored a scripture doodle via my Patreon. For his doodle verse, he chose Psalm 51:6: “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.” And…oh no, what have I done.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s an extra-long post for today! This doodle comes to you courtesy of the generous sponsorship of Dwight Knoll via my Patreon.
I started Chocolate Book to bring some regularity to my Bible reading. I mean, sure, it was an excuse to eat chocolate, but it wasn’t just an excuse to eat chocolate. I did it to get myself reading the Bible every weekday. And today I read Psalm 51, I did the important part, I accomplished my aim for the day. Now I can say anything about it. My thoughts don’t even have to be coherent.
Here’s David’s psalm of penitence again. I forgot to mention something yesterday, though. As I’m typing up these posts, I often stream Switchfoot’s album Where the Light Shines Through, front to back. As I was listing off the various “clean-related” words that David uses, I fired up the album, and the very first track came on: “Holy Water.” The song is as much about sanctification, being set apart for a purpose and receiving anointing with the “holy water” of the Holy Spirit, as it is about cleansing from sin. But with opening lines like “Wash the dust off dirty wheels, / Give me the waters that could help me heal,” I couldn’t help but be struck by the parallels. The confluence was in fact so striking that I forgot to mention it, whoops.
Today we flip back to the Triad study with a new theme and a new passage for the week. We’re looking at Psalm 51, which the authors of the study chose to illustrate God’s grace as it leads us to repentance, and which David wrote in response to his sin of adultery with Bathsheba. It’s a plea for cleansing and renewal, a desire to be set right.
Earlier this week, I was talking with a minister friend who shared with me a problem that he termed “the separation of Church and Christian.” In modern, individualistic America, people become Christians but remain isolated from the body of Christ and the communal practices that allow us to grow and work together for God’s purposes. To a large extent, I think that this phenomenon stems from a short-sighted, single-moment understanding of salvation: say the right prayer, believe the right things, and get your “get out of hell free” card, because once saved, always saved. We’ve got evangelistic rallies that measure success by how many people crossed that line of belief that we’ve drawn; we’ve reduced grace to mere forgiveness without transformation or growth, as if God would pardon us and then leave us in the pits we’ve dug.
How do we keep from not reading the Bible when we read the Bible?