There are phrases and sentences which have become classic. We may not remember how some of them became part of our lexicon. Others take us back to the moment we saw the movie, read the book or first heard the song. One of my favorite movie phrases is “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….” That phrase has introduced 11 movies to date. Even if you are not a fan of the series, you probably recognize this particular introduction to a battle between good and evil.
Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities begins with this epic sentence: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” The remainder of this book tells the story of the French Revolution.
And even though we have just celebrated the Advent season and the birth of our Lord and Savior, Hark the Herald! Angels Sing is one of Charles Wesley’s numerous hymns which commemorates this most holy day. One of the first prayers we learned may have begun with “Now I lay me down to sleep.” At some point we also learned the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed.
Some of us have one or more favorite Bible verses. I love Genesis Chapter 1, Verse 1. “In the beginning” is a wonderful way to introduce an origin story. What follows are the accounts of our fore- fathers and mothers. Their journeys of faith make up the entire Hebrew Testament. All in anticipation of God’s promise for our salvation which is contained in the New Testament. I often repeat a variety of verses from the 4 Gospels each day of my life. Matthew 9:37, Mark 1:3, Luke 4:18, and John 10:11 are among them.
Even though I have read countless books, I do believe the Bible is tops on my list. I can read a passage over and over and learn something new each time. The struggles of the people in the Old Testament resonate with me more and more. I view the journeys of Abraham and Sarah, Kings Saul and David and the faith stories of Ruth and Esther in more, rather than, less complicated ways. More than any work ever produced, the Bible is our never-ending story of God’s love for all of His children. And Amen.