This is another reflection I wrote based on another scripture class I recently took about the major themes of the Bible. I thought I would share it with you today:
The Bible has at least a few major themes that are as noticeable as a reoccurring motif is in a film. In the Old Testament these themes have great strength from the onset of Genesis we read about Adam and Eve, their fall in the garden to temptation, wanting to possess the knowledge of God; to their banishment to the hard, cold world outside of Eden, outside of God, because of their sin against God. However, their fall was not the end of the story they were given a second chance at redemption. In the story of Noah, humanity’s sinfulness displeased God so that He regretted creating the human race and decided to destroy it completely by water. The fall was redeemed by Noah, one whom God found favor with. God again watched as we fell but again gave us a chance at redemption. In the story of Noah there stands another major theme; that of the covenant with Noah, God would never again destroy the earth by water. The covenant theme carries through the life of Abram all the way to Moses. Another major theme reveals itself in the story of Moses as well as many other prophets of the Old Testament. They are called but they are the least qualified and usually resist the call from God. They take a spiritual journey often wrought with pain, fall and redemption. In the case of Moses a covenant, the Ten Commandments, is given to him by God.
In the New Testament especially in the gospel of Matthew we witness the fulfillment of the scriptures and prophets through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of the New Covenant with God and His people. God gives us Jesus Christ so that we may reconcile our lives to God. In Matthew Jesus is seen as the “new” Moses bringing God’s people out of the enslavement of sin to the true promise land; the Kingdom of God. The Vision of the Kingdom of God is the new covenant. The work of the church, its ministries and all sacraments are to point to the Kingdom of God. We are to make the Kingdom of God relevant here and now by learning from the Bible and the teachings of the scriptures.
Within the New Testament the gospels revealed Jesus unveiling the Kingdom of God. Jesus did this through His parables, miracles and discipleship. All that He taught, those that He healed and those that He called to His mission were witnessing the Kingdom of God yet so many of them were blind to His vision. In our lives today we often look away from this vision of God which is contained in the law of love “agape” selfless love. How are we to love without condition like Christ did? How can we truly bring the Reign of God into our world today?
Theses themes of falling, redemption, covenant, being called although we are not qualified and the journey are very relevant to our everyday lives. We constantly sin and ask for forgiveness. We are seeking a promise from God so that we can be His children. We sometimes hear the voice of God but pretend that we didn’t because we do not feel worthy. We have been on a journey since our own conception. Some parts of our journey have been spiritual and others were just painful but each step has moved us in a direction that hopefully brings us to a fuller understanding of our place in this world.
I now recognize these themes in scriptures that I have heard over and over again in my lifetime making them more real to me now. I can now relate to these people from the Old Testament that once seemed so far removed from my life. Their journeys make more sense to me now. Exploring the gospels in greater depth and learning about the Vision of The Kingdom of God gives me a deeper understanding of our Church in our world today.
Our culture, work, and problems are much different from theirs but their reaction to God is much like ours is today. The overwhelming theme that must be carried forth in all our ministries is the Law of Love – “Agape” selfless love. It is easier to write and talk about it than it is to live it. But that is what God has called us to do. So our mission is to spread the good news -the love of God to all the ends of the earth in whatever way He has commissioned us to do so, and in doing so we will bring the Kingdom of God to our world today.