I was fourteen years old when I returned home from church camp. Secretly, I knew I was a man. Ya see, there was this cute girl who lived a few states away from me that I met at camp, and we wrote these letters back and forth. We didn’t have texting, Facebook or Twitter. We had the postal service. I remember when I would get one of her letters, I would read it. Then I would read it again. And again. In between the time I received one of her letters, the time I wrote her back, and the time I received another one of her letters, I probably would read that letter between seven and twenty times. I’m not sure why I kept reading it. I think on the eleventh reading, I must have thought, “I think I missed something on that one page letter in my previous ten readings.”
She would tell me about what she liked to do, and what classes she was in. I was hanging on every word in her letters. When I think back to those days, I can’t help but smile. Then I remember the popularity contests of middle school, acne, and my voice cracking as it changed and I cringe. Still, when I think about the letters, I smile thinking of what it meant to me to receive those letters then.
One time, I heard someone say that the Bible is “God’s 66 Book Love Letter” to us. That kind of confused me, because I would never write Leviticus to my sweetheart. It’s too bloody. The prophets get pretty dark a lot of the time. Paul writes a lot of stuff that I’m not supposed to do. So it didn’t make sense to me.
This problem kept coming up when I was reading. I was looking through the different writings of the Bible, and I would say, “Okay, that’s interesting” or “That’s kind of weird” but what does that have to do with me. That’s how we read the Bible a lot of times.
That’s really interesting, but what does that have to do with me?
Let’s say I got on the phone with my sweetheart from camp, after reading through one of her letters and said, “You wrote some stuff about you that was kind of interesting. I was just wondering, ‘What does that have to do with me?’” That would make me an incredible jerk. Why was she writing all of those things about herself. Because she actually believed I was interested in her as a person.
When I looked at the Bible from this perspective, the thought of it being a love letter is began to make more sense to me. God is inviting us to get to know Him better. To see who He is. To understand why He does what He does. To discover what is important to Him. And we read a few sentences and say, “Okay, that’s kind of interesting, but what does that have to do with me?”
When you fall in love with God, you might read the Bible as a love letter. You won’t always have to ask, “What does that have to do with me right now?” Instead, you’ll just be interested to see what God has to tell you about Himself today. When it has to do with you, the Bible will say so. The Bible might just be the way God describes Himself to you because He wants you to know Him. The reward in knowing Jesus is Jesus himself. When we stop studying about Jesus to get something, or to have something, we can discover the One who loves us more than anyone in the universe. To love Him. To even trust Him.