= A Diet of words =

by Gordon A. Beck, Clarence, New York

"So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey." Ezekiel 3:3

 

   Nynin idia iko abasi are Ekif words in Nigeria meaning "we eat God's Word."  These words were the motto for the Lutheran Church of Nigeria during my teaching tour at the seminary there.

   I found that seminarians read the psalms as though they were living them, because they live life on the edge.  Often one of their children would be suffering from malaria; others had relatives who were in physical danger.

   To cope with their difficulties, they read the Bible as though they ate the words.  When they read and studied the psalms, particularly the psalms of protection, there was a refreshing authenticity to their recitations.  Often they put their faith into song.  When suffering from a crisis, seminarians would spontaneously break out singing,  "O, I've got a very big God, O. He's always by my side, a very big God, O."

   There are different ways to read the Bible.  We can read it striving to master the details, the characters, and the stories.  We can read it as a law book of do's and don'ts.  Or we can read into it what we already know.

   But a better way is to read the Bible as though our life depended on the words.  We are then literally "eating" the words.  God is feeding us with His rich grace and life-giving promise through Jesus.

 

 'Dear Father, thank You for giving us Jesus, the bread of life.  Help us feed on Him by Your Word.' Amen