April 15, 2019
The Written Word
Read Daniel 9:1-5
Rosaria Butterfield, a UNC Western Literature professor and a former lesbian and atheist, was won over by reading the Word. She recorded her conversion in her book titled The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into the Christian Faith. She has become a powerful witness for Christ, declaring, “…repentance and victory over sin are God’s gifts.”
In her testimony, Butterfield says, “I was working on a book ‘exposing’ the religious right from a lesbian feminist point of view. I approached the Bible with an agenda to tear it down because I firmly believed that it was threatening, dangerous, and irrational. But when I came to Christ, I experienced what nineteenth-century Scottish theologian Thomas Chalmers called ‘the expulsive power of a new affection.’ … As my union with Christ grew, the sanctification that it birthed put a wedge between my old self and my new one. In time, this contradiction exploded, and I was able to claim identity in Christ alone.”
In the same way, Daniel came to repentance through the Word. We have already examined Daniel’s experience of repentance in the meditations of 3 Lent. But what prompted that act? Daniel records, “I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years which, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years” (9:2). The written Word is a formidable witness to the redeeming power and love of God. But are we spending quality time in the Word? Jesus said, “You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me” (John 5:39). Are you spending meditative time in the Word, or simply “study” time? The Pharisees study the Word. The faithful embrace the Word, both written and Living!