From Glad Hearts, edited by my Father, James Hawkinson, two of the saints speak to us today.
The first is David Nyvall (1863-1946), Covenant educator, founder, and first president of North Park College and Seminary. Reflecting on the Word of God, he writes:
“If one goes to the Bible with an eye for errors, contradictions, grammatical anomalies, historical mistakes, or imprecise information and numbers, then the Bible is only great enough for scholarship about these matters. But if one goes to the Bible with an eye for the life that surges like mighty waves rising from bursting streams here and there, then one will be rewarded infinitely more. The Bible occupies a world that should be studied with a telescope rather than a microscope. What a loss it would be to study the stars and the Northern Lights with a magnifying glass! Let us admit that while it is also worthwhile to study the Bible with a microscope…this is the right of the research process…But according to Hebrews, faith looks through a telescope and notices that which is invisible under the research microscope, that is, that the Bible embraces the whole world of light and life, of comfort and guidance. And it is certainly true that no discovery of formal errors can take away anything of essential value from the Bible’s contents, just as if during a morning walk one’s admiration for the fresh, newly-born nature would be destroyed through the discovery of a leaf containing irregular, faulty edges or of stones which are not all cut into four square edges.” (P. 316)
The second voice is that of my childhood pastor, Glen Wiberg (1925-2017), who speaks of the Church as Christ’s welcoming community:
“The church, with the pail and dipper, is still the bearer of God’s invitation–good news for the thirsty. There is a meeting place with an address where you are not only welcome but where your thirst can be quenched. There is a word. There is a font of life. There is a table. There is broken bread. There is a water pail and dipper. ‘In, with, and under’ these earthy things there is the presence of the living Christ, God’s chosen One, the Bright and Morning Star, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The One who offers the gift of eternal life freely to all who thirst says, ‘Come, this gift is yours, without money and without price.’ There is no better menu any place. The source of life is not a concept, nor a theology, nor a ritual, nor an organization, nor even an experience however ecstatic. The source of life is a Person–Jesus, the living One who speaks and with outstretched hand says to you, ‘Welcome!’ (P. 357-58)