In the mid 80’s I discovered A Course in Miracles and pretty much set the Bible aside. The Bible angered and frustrated me whereas ACIM mesmerized me. The Course helped me unlearn so many painful lessons from the Church of My Childhood that I became a Course devotee, even though I could not and still do not understand portions of its radical message.
After years of avoiding church I joined a Disciples of Christ Church in Paris and regularly occupy the pew on Sunday as well as attend a stimulating adult education class. The pastor of this little community was also raised in the Church of My Childhood, which fosters a precious bond of trust between us…up to a point.
Pastor Charlotte initiated a program Jan1 in which we would all read the entire Bible over the course of the year, on a planned schedule. We get a printed card at the beginning of each month with the assigned readings. My initial response was, “you’ve got to be kidding.” Nevertheless I decided to embark on this journey with my newfound community.
Lordy, lordy, lordy the Bible messes with my head! I have come to believe in and know a radically loving God, a forgiving God…a God who would no more punish than he/she would forsake. My God has no concept of vengeance, does not “smite,” does not have a chosen people or tribe, does not threaten and does not denounce. The God in Genesis does all of the above, repeatedly. I am appalled to recall that I taught these frightful stories to young children, as they had been taught to me.
The greatest benefit I have found so far in re-reading the Old Testament is profound gratitude that my understanding of the nature of God has been so blessedly altered!