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I made sure when I planted my blueberry tree, that I planted the little plastic picture right beside it in the pot, so that the bush could see what it was meant to look like and what sort of big, luscious, plentiful fruit that it was meant to bear. (I just wish that the boys who flip the burgers at our local fast food joint would do the same. There always seems to be this unfortunate disconnect between the picture on the board and the reality on the tray.)
When Paul wrote to Timothy about how to pastor a church, he strongly advised him to keep the picture of what the church was meant to look like, plainly in view. In particular, that picture that we call the Scriptures, for said Paul, “All Scripture… is useful for… training in righteousness, that the man of God might be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Paul’s advice still holds good today: To keep the Scriptures in plain sight. Not just resting on the church lectern, but doing what they did in the days of Ezra: “They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.” This is only way that the church can stay true to its calling and productive in its mission, and eliminate any possible disconnect between what is in the Book and what is in the pew.
DM 31st October 2017