Friday, June 25, 2010
The phrase "summer reading" evokes images of relaxing with a good book on the beach--reading for pleasure and/or entertainment. Mass market paperbacks are the stock and trade of publisher's book lists in the summer.
However, because I'm teaching a course on the Old Testament in the fall, I am reading the primary textbook, Reading the Old Testament by Larry Bandstra, this summer. In addition, I will be reading several other books on the same subject. Not exactly light reading.
In my reading yesterday about the creation story in Genesis, I came across this provocative sentence:
"The Primeval Story beings with a world-class road trip, a space-time adventure that sweeps us back to ultimate origins... The narrative takes us to the earliest conceivable moment, the cosmic beginning, where we witness the formation of a universe."
Suddenly, my imagination was jolted to life and I began to think about the beginnings of the universe. What an amazing thought: our universe began in a specific moment! This beginning is steeped in majesty and mystery. Bandstra is right in calling it a "space-time adventure." Only through imagination can we enter into this story at its first moment.
My point in sharing this is that even in the driest, densest textbook, there is the possibility of a fresh and creative word being spoken that evokes something deep within us. "The beginning of our universe is an adventure that is still continuing." I could ponder this thought for the rest of the summer, or longer...