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  • Writer's pictureLaura Hewett

Read the Bible for a Change

There's a lot going on in my life that isn't appropriate to share on the internet, but I still want to give some update here to encourage you in some way and let you know that I'll be okay. This week had some hard moments, but I also had a parent email me out of the blue asking how she could pray for me. I had a couple other parents reach out to let me know how thankful they were to have their kids in my class. I had multiple alumni give me specific encouragements about how I'd helped them to journey through difficult questions in their faith and arrive safely in the arms of Jesus as they choose to read the Bible and be formed by the text rather than being wave tossed by their whims and doubts.

I had an enrichment lesson with my students on Friday since the other section of the class had one less day with me due to the PSAT. I read them the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5 and shared the poem I wrote this summer as well as the image Tessa and I will use in our future collection of illustrated poetry. I shared briefly how that story has an ongoing impact on my daily life - I've been formed and changed by this passage of Scripture that tells about a foreigner encountering YHWH and being profoundly different after - in his pride, in his heart, and in his physical skin disease. I'm not Jewish, but God has grafted me into his chosen people, and he's given me his Word to read and engage with to learn to love him and love others better.

The line I teach my students to memorize from Ray's textbook is "the purpose of reading the Bible is to foster loving relationships with God and other people." The title of the textbook is Read the Bible for a Change. In the introduction (which we read in class the first week of school), Ray explains the emphasis is supposed to be on the last word - read the Bible for a change. Be different after you read this book. Love God better, love people more, live in loving relationships well. I try to model that to my students, and I've had it heavy on my heart these weeks. As you keep praying for me to love God and love others better, here's a poetic encouragement to you to read the Bible for a change.


Read the Bible for a Change

Don’t read the Bible too much

Or you might hear the Spirit rustle the leaves of the late summer trees

Or you might care for the earth God created

Don’t read the Bible too much

Or you might connect stories of fallen heroes to your own messy life

Or you might see ways for you to grow

Don’t read the Bible too much

Or you might start to pray for those who persecute you

Or you might start to humanize the foreigner

Don’t read the Bible too much

Or you might find that God loves you overabundantly

Or you might see the blessings he wants you to receive

Don’t read the Bible too much

Or you might discover there are tensions and complexities living in community

Or you might start to develop empathy

Don’t read the Bible too much

Or you might change

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