Sunday, November 3, 2013
Where do the ideas come from? Part 2
Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
This verse is reportedly the shortest verse in the Bible. Some versions of the Bible add a few words, but basically these two words are the gist of it. But how much power do these two words have. Why would Jesus weep? Was He in physical pain? Was He in emotional pain? Why would Jesus, the Son of God, be in any sort of pain? And he wasn’t just crying; he was weeping. Do you think there is a different between crying and weeping? What is that difference? What does it take to make you cry or weep? See what thoughts two simple little words can conjure up?
Many, many years ago several co-workers and their pastor started a Bible study group at my clinic. I became one of the inaugural members. We have studied several books of the Bible over the years. We kid each other about how long it takes us to get through some of the chapters. Some Tuesday mornings we might spend our entire one hour session on a single verse. Or even on a single word.
To me, that doesn’t mean we are a group of nit-pickers, obsessing over tiny little details. It means that the Bible has that much power that each word in it was chosen for a specific reason. Nothing in the Bible is random. (People who teach writing will tell you that each word you write needs to have significance; maybe more writers should study the Bible.)
When I started writing “The Christmas Story in 40 Days” a lot of those same thoughts came into my head. Not so much about my writing, but more about my reading.
How many times do we skim through chapters of the Bible thinking they are just background information or even filler? Do we ever think that instead of reading the whole Bible, we should just read the “important” parts? Thanks to my Tuesday morning Bible study, I decided that each and every word in the Bible is equally important. That is why I went through each and every verse in the first chapter of Luke to flesh out the entire story of the first Christmas. Not just Joseph and Mary, not just the angels and the manger, and certainly not the inn and the innkeeper (neither of which are in the book).
To me, most of the Bible stories are intricate stories woven in the rich fabric of the lives of the people of the time. Nothing in the Bible happened by coincidence; it was all part of God’s wonderful plan for us.
And so, “The Christmas Story in 40 Days” evolved. If you missed the previous post, go back and read it to see how the book really got its start.