One of my favorite subjects has always been literature and reading. I have never enjoyed math or numbers; in fact it makes me uncomfortable when there is one single right answer to a question or problem. Reading, on the other hand, has played an important role all throughout my life. Coming from a reading family my parents read books to me early and often, and throughout elementary school I was the ‘Accelerated Reader’ champion. In fact, there is a home video that is often quoted where my cousin and I are having a conversation as toddlers. My cousin, Chase, asks me “Do you want to play football?” I shake my head and respond, “No!” Again he asks, “Wanna play basketball?” I respond again, “No!” “Want to play baseball?” “No!” Chase Finally asks, “Do you wanna read a book?” And I shout with joy “YEAH!” My family loves to bring this up to make fun of me, but the truth of the matter is that books and stories have been a part of me for a long time. As a child, my favorite book was “The Story of Ferdinand” a book about a bull who would rather smell the flowers than fight in the bullfights. Interestingly enough, Ferdinand the bull is a story that continues to impact and shape my life. In fourth grade, I read the book “Number the Stars”, and was impacted about the story of a young Danish girl living through the Holocaust. In middle school, I thought I was hot stuff because my Mom let me read thick John Grisham novels that convinced me I wanted to be a lawyer. When high school came around I fell in love with “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “The Count of Monte Cristo”, “Lord of Flies”, and the good old Huck Finn. I found that books have the ability to shape our lives and alter the way that we think about the world.
This Sunday in the sanctuary we will begin a “Back to School” sermon series as we reflect on some of the basics of the Christian faith. On Sunday we will examine reading and the study of Scripture as a spiritual practice and how it is central to our Christian faith. The Bible is a living book that encourages, comforts, disturbs, challenges, and transforms who we are and how we live. More often than not the Bible seems to read me as much as I attempt to read the Bible. I look forward to seeing you Sunday, Bible in hand, as we head back to school.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Colin Snider