One of my favourite things is rediscovering things: a movie I haven’t seen in a couple years, or putting my iTunes on shuffle and letting it find some forgotten classics.
One of my new favourite things to rediscover has been the book of Genesis. Having accepted the Year of Reading Biblically challenge from Aaron Epp, Canadian Mennonite’s Young Voices co-editor, I have been faithfully reading my three to four chapters a day and have found myself genuinely surprised at how new much of it seemed. I had fallen into that dangerous pitfall of thinking that it was all familiar and well known, of putting the Old Testament on a shelf marked “irrelevant,” and forgetting that the Good Book really is a good book.
I had forgotten that in the story of Joseph, Reuben, his oldest brother, had secretly planned to free Joseph from the pit the other brothers had thrown him into, and had been devastated when the slave traders came and he was unable to save Joseph (Genesis 37).
I had forgotten that the Bible is, in part, a story with intrigue and plot twists, beginnings and endings, love lost and love found. Not that we read it in the same spirit as we would a good mystery novel, but we don’t always need to come to Scripture as though we are writing a sermon on it. While that might sometimes be the case, since starting this daily reading I have been reminded that the Bible can be read simply as a way of reconnecting with our history and re-acquainting ourselves with God.
And that is why this daily reading and rediscovery has become one of my favourite things. It is usually the first thing I do in the morning, even before turning on CBC Radio 2 Morning—another one of my favourite things—and throughout the day I often find myself reflecting back on what I read. Thinking about the characters, imagining what their daily lives would have been like, and how they would have felt about this God who delivered them out of Egypt and promised them more descendants than the stars. Thinking about God’s relationship with them, and how he continues to be in relationship with us today.
Seeing how God is with the area church of Saskatchewan is another one of my new favourite things. Like most area churches, we are a diverse body, but as I continue to travel, listen and learn, the one thing that does not change is a sense of God’s presence and guidance. God has remained an active part of our story, which has really been his story all along.
I have many new favourite things, but most of all I am excited about getting to know God, and what he is doing with his church, and from what I’ve been reading I think that might be one of his favourite things, too.
Kirsten Hamm is area church youth minister for Mennonite Church Saskatchewan.
--Posted Feb. 12, 2014