I remember when I first started reading that Bible…or rather when I first tried to read the Bible. I had an idea about God and wanted to learn more, so I picked up my Bible and started reading. I began in Genesis, but really wanted to get to Jesus, and well, that seemed like it would take some time. So I skipped ahead and read some Psalms, which was also not what I was looking for. A little discouraged, I finally got to the Gospels only to find Jesus saying things like “sell everything you have” and “you must leave your father and mother.” It didn’t sound like the loving Jesus I had heard about from friends. It just seemed strange.
Have you ever experienced a time when you were reading the Bible and thought, “Did I read that right?” The Bible can seem odd in places. It’s not always apparent why certain stories are included in the Bible and what the stories are communicating about God. Which raises lots of questions that often don’t get answered. Let’s be honest…there are some strange stories in the Bible! Sometimes, the stories don’t reflect the loving, gracious God that we know, and it can be a challenge to sort out what the story is all about.
These are the stories we will talk about in our newest sermon series at Table of Grace. Stories that feature strange things like people dying because they are stingy, the “squeaky-wheel method” of prayer, an occasion in which Jesus seems to be hangry, and a warning never to make fun of a bald man. All strange plot-lines that make us pause when we read them, not because of their insight, but because they don’t seem right. I am excited for this series not only because we will look at stories that are often overlooked, but because we will also become a little better at reading our Bibles. I believe that through this series, you will feel more confident in making the story of God your story, and that when you come to a perplexing passage of scripture, you will say: “These are rather strange things, and I want to know what it’s all about.”