Monday, 7 July 2014

An Untidy Bible

Image: Chris Webb
Someone once told me, "It's the words that are sacred, not the paper." Underlinings, jottings, scratchings in the margins are all ways of engaging enthusiastically with the text of Scripture. Lectio doesn't always have to be sedate and tidy.

Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis puts it well in the introduction to Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word: "The principal care of one who would make his house within Christ’s Word must be to allow the sacred text all its importance, all its resonance, all its radiance and centrality. He will ceaselessly allow it to occupy the central 'block' of both his page and his loving attention, as in those manuscript commentaries on The Book in the Middle Ages—of Jewish, Christian, or Moslem origin—which display a minimal portion of the inspired text within a solid square in the middle of the page and whose thick margins, on four sides, became more and more crowded with the glosses of scribes who prayed, studied, memorized, and recopied—in a word, celebrated—the text inexhaustibly."

Grab a pen or pencil and go to it. Celebrate!