Sunday, December 23, 2007

An Excellent Summary:The Bible in 50 words.

It’s amazing how simple some things really are. Take the Bible, for instance. At first glance, it’s an intimidating book filled with strange names, places we’ve never heard of, books we can’t pronounce, and verses we don’t understand. Even people who have read the Bible for years still have trouble understanding parts of it. Sometimes it helps to remember that the message of the Bible is not very complicated.

A friend sent me an e-mail containing “The Bible in 50 words.” That wouldn’t seem possible because the Bible is such a big book. But here it is.

God made
Adam bit
Noah arked
Abraham split
Jacob fooled
Joseph ruled
Bush talked
Moses balked
Pharaoh plagued
People walked
Sea divided
Tablets guided
Promise landed
Saul freaked
David peeked
Prophets warned
Jesus born
God walked
Love talked
Anger crucified
Hope died
Love rose
Spirit flamed
Word spread
God remained.

I don’t know who wrote that, but whoever it was did a fine job. You can quibble with what is left out—and you can ponder certain phrases such as “Saul freaked,” which isn’t entirely clear, but no matter what it means, it rhymes quite well with “David peeked,” which is in fact entirely correct.

I like it for a second reason that goes beyond the cleverness factor. It reminds us that the deepest truths are actually quite simple. A few years ago the editor of the student newspaper at a local high school called me. She said she was interviewing local clergy and wanted to know what Christmas means to me. I told her that it all comes down to one simple fact:
At Bethlehem a baby was born who was God in human flesh. This is the central truth of the Christian faith—that God became a man at Christmastime. Everything else we believe derives from that essential truth. With that in mind, let’s return to “The Bible in 50 words.”
Here is the life of Christ in just 12 words:

Jesus born
God walked
Love talked
Anger crucified
Hope died
Love rose

Not bad. Not bad at all. You can always add to that, but as it stands, it’s an excellent summary of the greatest story ever told—the life of Jesus Christ on the earth.

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