Editor's Postlude: I Love Scripture

March 28, 2024
Open Bible with rainbow colours across the page

I don’t quite remember when I fell in love with scripture. It might have been when I was a preschooler and was introduced to the hardcover books of the New Curriculum of The United Church of Canada. Love One Another; Praise Him, Praise Him; Jesus and the Children; and the other books for nursery and kindergarten children captured my imagination. The simple tellings and images of the stories of Jesus were planted in me and have grown with me ever since.

A member of our congregation recently asked me to compile a list of my favourite scriptures for him. The idea may have been sparked by the number of times I declare in my sermons, “This is one of my favourite scriptures.”

Perhaps it would be more accurate to state that I haven’t met a scripture I don’t like. I love wrestling with scriptures that at first don’t offer much to me or even irritate me. By the time I’ve wound my way through the scripture to create the worship for the week, I’ve been pulled into the wisdom, wonder, and challenge of each one. However, I do have certain scriptures that are my favourites, ones I keep close to me, repeat to myself, and allow to shape the way I live my faith each day.

The first is Jesus’ parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1–5). It is intriguing because the details are so sparse. The judge says, “The widow keeps coming and asking me for justice, so I will give her what she wants so she stops bothering me.” It allows so much room for imagining and pondering. Does the widow pound on the door at the judge’s home every morning just as he is about to have his morning cuppa and then every evening just as he is settling to sleep? Does she interrupt the judicial deliberations over and over again as the judge sits at the city gates? And just what justice might she be seeking? But, of course, what I love most is her persistence. She has nothing to lose. She is quite happy to persist in bothering the judge if it achieves justice. She is a model for me about how to live my faith.

Another top favourite scripture of mine is Ephesians 3:20–21, which I repeat to myself daily, often many times a day, in my adaptation: “Glory to God whose power at work within us can accomplish infinitely and abundantly far more than all we can ask for or imagine, through Christ Jesus for all generations.” This is where my hope lies. There is so much that is discouraging in the world today, so much that is discouraging in the church and in ministry, but I refuse to give in to discouragement even when I feel it. I just pull out the words of Ephesians and remind myself that God’s power is at work! If Paul could believe that in the first century, I can believe it now.

I love the scripture stories of Jesus asleep in the boat during the storm and Jesus blessing the children. I’m also in love with Revelation 21:1–6 and the image of God pitching a tent (tabernacling) among us to be here to wipe away our tears. The woman in the sun of Revelation 12:1–16 captures my imagination. As a knitter, I’m drawn to the image of God as a knitter in Psalm 139:13. The words of Isaiah 40:31, “Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,” bring both comfort and the challenge to be prepared to wait. Hmm…persist but wait; now that is something to ponder.

Thirty scriptures made the list for the congregational member, but every time I glance at it, I think of another scripture to add. It reminds me that scripture is a gift, a gift that was rooted within me when I was just a preschooler and that has continued to sustain, nurture, and challenge me through all these years.

I wonder what your favourite scriptures are. Which verses and stories guide and inspire you, comfort and challenge you? Why not make your own list and discover how scripture has shaped your life of faith?

Susan Lukey, Editor