Deconstructed Scripture

A few years back the rage was all about deconstructed food. Over-priced restaurants would invite you to partake of their newest creations: a sandwich in parts. Instead of the completed meal, you would receive all the components. The theory was that people could experience a broader range of tastes by combining the elements in different proportions or sequences.

You all remember Remi in Pixar’s Ratatouille? Remember the scene when he tastes a strawberry and then the cheese and then the two together? That’s kind of what we’re talking about here. One plays jazz on your tongue while the other a soft classic, but together you get something truly inspiring.

I fear we often deconstruct Scripture, more often forgetting to reassemble the pieces.

I’ve been reading through 2 Corinthians. So much of this book is deeply familiar. You have the love chapter and the parts on spiritual gifts. There are sections on unity, church order, marriage relationships, prophecy and speaking in tongues. There’s even a bit about slavery and attitudes toward our superiors.

In the original languages, the Bible doesn’t have paragraphs or headings. It has minimal punctuation. To make it easier to navigate, we added all that stuff, and it’s extremely helpful. But when we parse out all the pieces, we can sometimes lose the big picture.

This book — 2 Corinthians — has lots and lots of parts. It is packed with great, specific instruction. But it has a big picture. It has a main message. While I am very familiar with all the parts — the individual tastes, if you will — this read-through has illuminated the cohesive nature of Scripture. When “tasted” as a whole, it is magnificent! A whole new kind of music.

As you read your Bible this week, remember to look for the whole of Scripture in the details of the verses you read. You may be surprised at what you haven’t seen before.

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